The Code of Practice for CRIME (Custody, Rights, Investigation, Management and Evidence) represents a major step towards improving the accountability of the NSW Police to the community it serves. It provides members of the community as well as members of the NSW Police with a succinct reference to the powers of police when investigating offences. Most importantly, for the first time in the history of the NSW Police, the Code provides members of the community with advice on their rights in dealing with police.

To make the Code as accessible as possible to the diverse communities of NSW, it sets out in a user friendly format:

  • police powers to stop, search and detain people
  • police powers to enter and search premises and seize property
  • police powers to arrest, detain and question suspects,
  • the way in which suspects and others are to be treated by police.

The Code is not, however, a comprehensive set of the requirements which must be followed by police in exercising the powers of their office. In exercising these powers and in their treatment of suspects and members of the public, police must be aware of the obligations and responsibilities imposed on them by legislation, NSW Police policies, procedures and other documents such as the Aboriginal Policy Statement and Strategic Plan and the Youth Policy Statement and Action Plan.

The Code of Practice for CRIME complements the NSW Police's Code of Conduct and Ethics by providing an ethical framework for police in dealing with suspects, by reinforcing the need for all officers to act with honesty and integrity when investigating offences, and by protecting officers against false allegations of corruption. Both Codes are based on each member of the NSW Police acting in accordance with the following values:

  • integrity is placed above all
  • the rule of law is upheld
  • the rights and freedoms of individuals are preserved
  • quality of life is improved by community involvement in policing
  • citizen and police personal satisfaction
  • the wealth of human resources is capitalised on
  • public resources are used efficiently and economically
  • authority is exercised responsibly.

Through this Code, the NSW Police has articulated the professional and ethical behaviour it requires of all officers when they exercise their powers of arrest and detention and when they deal with members of the community while investigating offences.

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