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 77 After interviewing everyone involved (including the civilian witnesses) it was determined that the complainant had refused to get of his car and had to be forcibly removed. Police sought advice from their Operational Safety, Tactics and Training Techniques specialist who deemed that the force used was not excessive in the circumstances. The allegation that police swore at the complainant was sustained as one of the officers admitted that he may have sworn during the arrest. This officer was given managerial guidance in respect of this aspect of the complaint. The allegation that no medical treatment was provided was also sustained. On the watch house tape, the complainant could clearly be heard expressing concern about his high blood pressure. It was noted in the offender journal that the complainant had grazing to his elbows and knees but no mention was made of his blood pressure. Managerial guidance was recommended for the auxiliary officer concerned but she resigned from the police force before this could occur. 16. Unlucky Escape The complainant in this matter alleged that he was assaulted by two police members after his arrest. Whilst being transported to a watchhouse the complainant managed to escape from the rear of a Police cage vehicle and jumped from the moving vehicle. The complainant alleged that while he was lying on the ground, having jumped from the vehicle, the officers kicked him on the elbow, jaw and neck. The complainant said that he did not resist and was lying still. The complainant also said that at this time there were three police officers present and one was holding him still and the others hit him with closed fists on the jaw and neck as well as kicking him in the ribs. A detailed investigation of this complaint was conducted by the Professional Responsibility Division of the Northern Territory Police on behalf of the Ombudsman, under the supervision of the Joint Review Committee (JRC). The police investigation officer spoke to the complainant, approached Police members present at the scene of the alleged assault, and an Ambulance Paramedic. The police evidence was that the complainant fell to the ground after he had jumped from the Police vehicle. The Police members present were concerned for the complainants welfare and denied hitting or kicking the complainant. The JRC considered that the available evidence supported that of the police to the effect that the complainant was already on the ground by the time the police reached him. It thus could not sustain the complainants allegation that his arm was twisted and was pushed to the ground by the police after he jumped from the van. The complainants injuries of grazes to knee, elbow and hand were consistent with him falling over after jumping from the cage. There was however no medical evidence to support the complainants allegations that he was punched to the head, elbow, neck and jaw and kicked in the ribs or back. The JRC also commented that the place where the complainant was lying when the alleged assault took place was only a few metres from a relatively busy road in the middle

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