People with Disabilities
The NSW Police Force responsibilities extend to each individual making up the population of NSW. According to available data form the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 20%, or one in five people in NSW have some form of disability. It is therefore a social justice imperative for the NSW Police Force to assist this large component of our community to live as full citizens with optimum quality of life, independence and participation.
The reality is that the justice system has not always been adept at recognising the circumstances and needs of people with disabilities. Treating people the same does not always result in treating them equally. Continued consultation with the disability community is required to help bridge the gaps in knowledge, understanding and sensitivities.
While the NSW Police Force did have a Disability Advisory Council it was dissolved in December 2013 as a result of the Cluster Governance Review.
Members of the NSW Police Force Disability Advisory Council were absorbed into the Department of Justice Disability Advisory Council, with the Council term expiring in December 2014.
Recruitment to the new Disability Advisory Council committee for the Justice Cluster will commence in early 2015.
The NSW Police Force remains committed to working with persons with disabilities, and is represented by a Corporate Sponsor, and supported by Region Sponsors.
For information about the Department of Justice Disability Advisory Council, please visit Diversity Services
Or call 02 8688 8460 or 02 8688 7507 or TTY 02 8688 7733
Disability issues and the NSW Police Force
NSW Police Force uses the definition of disability as described by the NSW Disability Services Act 1993 and the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992. NSW Police Officers do not diagnose, nor screen persons for disabilities but are guided by key indicators or descriptors or a statement from the person or their carer as to the nature of the disability.
People with disabilities are classified as ‘vulnerable persons’ under the Law Enforcement Powers and Responsibilities Regulation 2005. When a disability is established or strongly suggested, the vulnerable person should have the right to a support person when being interviewed by the police. This is the case whether the person is a witness, victim or alleged offender. This may involve the use of a carer, case worker, legal representative, guardian or AUSLAN interpreter.
Support for people with an Intellectual Disability can be arranged through the Criminal Justice Support Network. The Criminal Justice Support Network (CJSN) is a service of the Intellectual Disability Rights Service that provides volunteer support workers for people with an intellectual disability who are in contact with the criminal justice system. The CJSN is a 24 hour State-wide service who can be contacted through the Intellectual Disability Rights Service on 9318 0144. They also offer a toll free service on 1300 665 908.
Each Local Area Command should have a Customer Service Duty Officer. Local issues regarding people with disabilities and the police can be pursued through that officer. Contact details linking your residential suburb and the local police station can be found on the home page of this website.
While State and Federal legislation directs all government agencies to make allowances for people with a disability, it doesn’t mean that police will regard the person and the circumstances any differently to any other situation, interview or investigation.
How to contact the police if you have a hearing/speech impairment
TTY :(02) 9211 3776
(hearing / speech impaired).
The National Relay Service
People with hearing and speech impairments can also contact police through the National Relay Service. A professional relay officer becomes the central link in the phone call relaying what is said by both parties. This is strictly compliant with privacy legislation.
Police Assistance Line (non emergencies)
People who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can call the Police Assistance Line through the National Relay Service:
TTY users phone 133 677 then ask for 131444
Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 131444
Internet relay users connect to the NRS (see www.relayservice.com.au for details) and then ask for 131444
Crime stoppers (report crime anonymously)
People who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can call Crime stoppers through the National Relay Service:
TTY users phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 333 000
Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 333 000
Internet relay users connect to the NRS (see www.relayservice.com.au for details) and then ask for 1800 333 000
People who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can call emergency services through the National Relay Service:
TTY users dial 106 (This is a dedicated text-based emergency phone relay service for TTY users with direct access to the police, ambulance and fire brigade emergency lines.)
Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 000
Internet relay users connect to the NRS (see www.relayservice.com.au for details) and then ask for 000
For more information, contact the National Relay Service on 1800 555 660 or visit their website www.relayservice.com.au.
Making complaints about disability discrimination
To make a complaint, please refer to the information contained in the following link.
Other avenues of complaint
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, people can lodge complaints of discrimination and harassment with:
The Australian Human Rights Commission
GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW 2001
Phone 1300 656 419
TTY 1800 620 241
The NSW Ombudsman is an independent and impartial watchdog whose job is to make sure that agencies fulfil their functions properly and improve their delivery of services to the public.
Level 24, 580 George St, Sydney, NSW, 2000
Phone (02) 9286 1000
Toll free 1800 451 524 (from outside Sydney)
TTY 02 9264 8050
The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW is part of the NSW Attorney General’s Department. It administers the Anti-Discrimination laws of New South Wales.
PO Box A2122, Sydney South 1235
Phone (02) 9268 5555
Toll free 1800 670 812 (for rural and regional New South Wales only)
TTY (02) 92685 5522