Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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61 Method Description Category 1 complaint investigation This category is for the most serious allegations, for example complaints: o considered to be of a serious or urgent nature, e.g. major assault, use of fire-arm or other weapon, etc.; o involving threats or harassment considered to be of a serious nature e.g. threat to kill, threat to endanger life, threat to unlawfully harass, etc; o likely to result in criminal or disciplinary proceedings; o raising a matter of public interest; or o likely to raise significant questions of Police practice or procedure. Police investigate and provide a report which is assessed by this Office. The Ombudsman provides an assessment, and any recommendations, to the Commissioner. If the Commissioner agrees with the recommendations, the Ombudsman then advises the complainant of the relevant outcomes of the investigation. If the Commissioner and the Ombudsman are unable to agree on the outcomes and recommendations, the Ombudsman may provide a report for tabling in the Legislative Assembly. In 2017/18, 10 matters were assessed as Category 1 complaints (compared with 3 in the previous year). Four of those matters related to one incident and two to another. Category 2 complaint investigation These complaints are not at the level of Category 1 complaints but are nevertheless important enough to warrant comprehensive investigation. They are investigated and resolved directly by Police in the first instance. Police report on the investigation to the Ombudsman and the complainant. The Ombudsman reviews the investigation and the complainant can raise any ongoing concerns relating to the police response with the Ombudsman. In 2017/18, 47 matters were assessed as Category 2 complaints (compared with 20 in the previous year). Seven of those matters related to one event. Deferral If criminal proceedings or disciplinary procedures have been or will be commenced in relation to police conduct, the Ombudsman Act allows for the Ombudsman to discontinue investigation pending the outcome of those proceedings or to decline to deal further with the matter (sections 107 and 67(1)). In practice, I will consider this option on application by NT Police. In order to adopt this approach, I need to be satisfied that the proceedings will encompass all the substantive issues raised by the particular complaint. If satisfied that is the case, I may then defer further investigation until completion of the proceedings. On completion of proceedings, NT Police advise my Office of the outcome and I consider whether any further action is necessary. In 2017/18, 2 investigations were deferred pending the outcome of proceedings. Both resulted in disciplinary outcomes.