Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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60 The Ombudsman may decline to deal with a complaint under section 67 of the Act on a variety of grounds, including that the complaint is trivial or vexatious, that the complainant does not have a sufficient interest, that disciplinary procedures have commenced or charges have been laid against the officer in question, or that dealing with the complaint is not in the public interest. The great bulk of approaches to the Office are finalised in the above ways without the need for a formal investigation. Complaint Resolution Process The Complaint Resolution Process (CRP) is an informal process undertaken by Police where early personal contact between Police officers and complainants may lead to a quick and effective resolution. A CRP may involve explaining to a person why a particular course of action was taken, the legal and practical considerations surrounding the incident or a simple apology. Ideally the Police officer and the complainant should be satisfied with the outcome but this may not always be achievable. CRP is a means of dealing with common complaints about practices, procedures, attitudes and behaviours and is not intended to be an approach focused on fault-finding or punishment. Complainants are informed by Police that they can approach my Office if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the process. Outcomes of CRPs are provided to my Office. In 2017/18, 210 approaches were categorised as CRP matters (compared with 96 in the previous year). More serious complaints For complaints that are assessed as more serious, there are a number of options for action. Categorisation is based on the allegation in the complaint. It does not represent an assessment of the credibility or validity of the complaint. Method Description Ombudsman investigation The Ombudsman may decide to directly investigate any Police complaint if satisfied it: o concerns the conduct of a Police Officer holding a rank equal or senior to the rank of PSC Commander; o concerns the conduct of a PSC member; or o is about the practices, procedures or policies of NT Police; or o should be investigated by the Ombudsman for any other reason. The Ombudsman may decide that the investigation be undertaken in conjunction with a PSC member. The Ombudsman can also commence an own motion investigation into the conduct of a police officer. In 2017/18, the Ombudsman did not initiate an investigation of this type into police conduct.