OmbudsmanNT Report to The Honourable John Elferink MLA Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Compliance by Northern Territory Police Force with Surveillance Devices Act Second Report 2015
Tabled paper 1485
Tabled Papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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.
2 INTRODUCTION The Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (the Act) came into operation on 1 January 2008. The purposes of the Act are: (a) to regulate the installation, use, maintenance and retrieval of surveillance devices; and (b) to restrict the use, communication and publication of information obtained through the use of surveillance devices or otherwise connected with surveillance device operations; and (c) to establish procedures for law enforcement officers to obtain warrants or emergency authorisations for the installation, use, maintenance and retrieval of surveillance devices in criminal investigations extending beyond this jurisdiction; and (d) to recognise warrants and emergency authorisations issued in other jurisdictions; and (e) to impose requirements for the secure storage and destruction of records, and the making of reports to Judges, magistrates and Parliament, in relation to surveillance device operations. Section 63(1) of the Act requires the Ombudsman to inspect the records of the Northern Territory Police Force (NT Police), to determine the extent of compliance with the Act by NT Police and its law enforcement officers. The Ombudsman is required, under section 64(1) of the Act, to report to the Minister at six monthly intervals on the results of each inspection. Section 64(2) of the Act provides that the Minister must, within 7 sitting days after receiving a report, table a copy of it in the Legislative Assembly. Since the last report issued in January 2015 there has been one inspection. It took place on 16 June 2015 and covered the period from 3 December 2014 to 16 June 2015. BACKGROUND A Police General Order, Policy and Procedures was gazetted on 4 August 2011 (number 16 of 2011). That General Order sets out procedures regarding the application process for warrants, responsibilities of the Registrar and record keeping and warrant administration requirements. The Technical and Covert Section has the responsibility as the central repository for copies of documents including surveillance device warrants, other records such as affidavits and surveillance device product, as well as ancillary documentation.