Territory Stories

Annual Report 2004-2005 Ombudsman 27th Report



Annual Report 2004-2005 Ombudsman 27th Report

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Tabled paper 283


Tabled papers for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled By Claire Martin


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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_________________________________________________________ Ombudsmans Annual Report 2004/05 66 The complainant stated that he then took a swing at the man. At this stage, the two police officers jumped on the complainant and threw him to the ground and pushed his head into the concrete. One of the police officers asked the other whether he had the mace spray. This police officer then proceeded to spray the mace approximately two centimetres from the complainants eyes. The complainant also stated that the police officers handcuffed him and stomped on the handcuffs in order to make them as tight as possible. The complainant was then transported to the police watchhouse where he was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting police officers. Whilst in the watchhouse the complainant alleged that his requests for medical assistance were ignored. A detailed investigation of the allegations was conducted by the Professional Responsibility Command of the Northern Territory Police Force on behalf of the Ombudsman and under the supervision of the Joint Review Committee (JRC). The investigation found that police were lawfully performing their duties in questioning the occupants of the car. From the evidence of a number of the police witnesses the complainant was quite intoxicated at the time of the confrontation with the police officers. The complainant attempted to strike a police officer who then restrained him. The complainant continued to resist the police officer and when the second officer became involved the complainant struck the second officer in the jaw with his fist. Eventually the complainant was subdued and handcuffed after an application of OC spray. The allegation that the police officers intentionally over tightened the bracelets was denied by the officers involved and no other evidence gathered supported the complainant s claim. The fact that the police officers used force in arresting the complainant was not denied. The JRC found that there was no evidence to support the assertion that the force used was unnecessary or excessive. With respect to the allegations that on a number of occasions the complainant was pushed by the police officers and that the police officers failed to show identification upon request, the complainant withdrew these allegations when interviewed as part of the investigations. The allegation that two Police Officers failed to act on request for medical assistance was substantiated. The JRC recommended that these officers receive counselling for their failure to take action to bring the complainants request for medical assistance to the attention of the Watchhouse Keeper whilst he was in police custody. 5. Placing themselves on duty The complainant (17yo) alleged that late one night he had an argument with his girlfriend (15yo) at his girlfriends house. As a result of the argument, the girlfriend jumped over a fence and ran into the neighbouring park. The complainant chased the girlfriend into the park and grabbed her. The complainant alleged that as he was trying to carry her back to the house, two drunk off-duty police officers came out of nowhere and attacked the complainant. He claimed they threw heavy blows to his head for about 5 to 10 minutes, then got him to the ground and started to kick him, rendering him almost unconscious.