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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


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_________________________________________________________ Ombudsmans Annual Report 2004/05 74 A detailed investigation of this complaint was conducted by the Professional Responsibility Command of the Northern Territory Police on behalf of the Ombudsman, under the supervision of the Joint Review Committee (JRC). The investigation established that none of the complainants allegations could be substantiated. The Police Officers that first attempted to pull the complainant over had done everything reasonably expected of them to identify themselves as Police Officers. The pursuit was called off due to dangerous speeds being required. A marked Police vehicle then noted the complainant going through a red light, and this car and the initial unmarked car then reactivated the pursuit. Force was used to arrest the complainant, however due to the complainants resistance, this force was considered by the JRC to have been reasonable in the circumstances. Although charges of carrying an offensive weapon were eventually dropped, the JRC was of the opinion that it was not unreasonable for them to be laid in the circumstances. The complainant had told the Police at the time of his arrest that the knife was for self-defence. Comments by Police regarding do you want to stay here, when the complainant was to be bailed, were found by the JRC to have been made in an attempt to explain to the complainant the procedure of Police bail, and to advise that the Courts were the appropriate place to dispute any resulting charges. One issue that did arise from the investigation into this complaint was whether the members adhered to the Urgent Duty Driving policy (UDD) when they reactivated the pursuit. It was found by the JRC that the failure of the officers involved to request and gain the approval of the Communications Supervisor to reinstate the pursuit was not in accordance with the NT Police UDD policy. The JRC recommended that the members involved receive educational counselling regarding the requirements of adhering to the UDD policy. 13. Lady Justice took her time The complainants had operated a licensed tavern for a number of years. After being served with a Notice to Quit, the complainants left the premises and removed most of the furniture and fittings. The matter was reported as a theft to police and investigated by local Detectives. A number of search warrants were executed upon premises controlled by the complainants and a large quantity of the fixtures and fittings reported as stolen were located and seized by police. Many of the items seized as exhibits were stored outside of the Police Property Office deteriorated as a consequence of this exposure to the elements. The complainants asserted that they had been making cash payments to the Business Manager to purchase the fixtures and fittings and that the matter was a civil dispute, not a criminal matter. A detailed investigation of the complaint was conducted by the Professional Responsibility Command of the Northern Territory Police on behalf of the Ombudsman, under the supervision of the Joint Review Committee (JRC). The JRC emphasised that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was responsible for the institution, preparation and conduct of the criminal matters on behalf of the Crown, and for the carriage of the complainants particular matter at the committal stage and beyond.