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 78 of the afternoon. There was evidence to the effect that a number of people had stopped to observe the incident or slowed down as they passed. The JRC commented that if the incident occurred as alleged in the initial complaint, it would be unlikely that a member of the public would not complain about the matter. In relation to the manner in which the complainant managed to escape from the police vehicles cage, it was established that the complainant effected his escape by manipulating the locking mechanism of the cage door by putting his fingers through the mesh. Investigation revealed that this particular cage door had not been equipped with the fine mesh which prevents a prisoner from putting their fingers through to operate the lock, and which is fitted to most other vehicles. The Officer in Charge stated that it was observed that this cage car had a new cage which had not been fitted with an area of smaller grill mesh as had all the other vehicles. The vehicle was subsequently fitted with the mesh. The JRC recommended that the NT Police either ensure that all police cage vehicles are fitted with the smaller mesh preventing the opening mechanism being accessed by prisoners, or ensure that the practice of fitting a padlock and/or handcuffs is standard for all NT Police. Police later notified this office that all cage vehicles would be checked when serviced or changed over to ensure double meshing had been fitted to prevent this type of incident occurring again. 17. Assault of a Juvenile at the Watch House A 17 year old boy was arrested by Police for allegedly breaking into a Police Station. The juvenile alleged that whilst being interviewed at the Police Station after his arrest, he was assaulted by Police. The juvenile alleged that while two police officers were interviewing him another police officer entered the police interview room yelling at him angrily. This police officer then hit him hard on the left arm, grabbed him around the neck and pushed him into a door frame. The juvenile also alleges that on the way to the Police cells he was pushed by the same officer and this caused him to lose his balance and fall against a Police vehicle, striking his head and chest on the bonnet of the vehicle. A detailed investigation of the complaint was conducted by the Professional Responsibility Command (PRC) under the supervision of the Joint Review Committee (JRC). The JRC interviewed a number of witnesses to the incidents, the complainant and the Police Officers present at the watch-house. The JRC concluded that whilst it was appropriate for the police officer to approach the complainant in the watch-house, the manner in which the officer then involved himself in the complainants interview was improper, unnecessary and unprofessional. As a result, disciplinary action was initiated against the officer.

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