Agency Information Guide
Under the Government Information (Public Access) (GIPA) Act 2009, each NSW Government department and agency is required to publish an annual Publication Guide. The information in this report describes the structure and functions of the NSW Police Force, how these functions affect the public and how the public can participate in the Department's policy formulation. Additionally, the Publication Guide requires the inclusion of the Department's categories of information and how these can be accessed by members of the public together with any access charges that may be applicable.
Structure and Function
The New South Wales Police Force is headed by the Commissioner of Police. The structure of the New South Wales Police Force Senior Executive Service is determined by the Minister for Police. The Deputy Commissioner of Field Operations, Specialist Operations and Corporate Services report directly to the Commissioner of Police.
The purpose of the NSW Police Force is to work with the community to reduce crime and violence and improve public safety. The bulk of policing work is done by operational police at Local Area Commands (LACs). Depending on their location and demographics, LACs can often have different demands placed upon them. Police work closely with their local community to tailor policing response to the needs of that community.
Specialist commands compliment local police. They provide further services that, at times, are required by LACs to provide the community with the best possible policing response. Strike forces are formed when resources are needed to be concentrated on a particular crime or crime types such as drugs, murder or other organised crime.
Field Operations provide the expertise necessary to compliment a comprehensive and professional local police service. Teams of experts in their fields are available to support local police across the state and provide extra assistance when required.
Specialist Operations Command has police and administrative staff who provide specialist expertise to compliment local police services. Support is available to police and the community by providing operational information to support investigations; counter terrorism investigation; organised and serious crime investigation; radio communications; call centres; forensic services; complaints and employee management, air and sea policing; specialist surveillance; canine and mounted support; police prosecutions and information technology support.
Corporate Services provides administrative, financial and legal support to the NSW Police Force and comprises of units such as Public Affairs Branch, Records Services, Recruitment Branch (In Education and Training), Investment and Commercial Services, Safety Command, Human Resources, Education and training, Financial Services & Audit, General Counsel and Performance Improvement and Planning.
The Annual Report contains further information concerning the operations and financial affairs of the NSW Police Force.
Further information can be obtained from the NSW Police Force internet website.
Effect of functions on members of the public
The functions of the NSW Police Force have an effect on members of the public through the provision of services. These services include providing police services to New South Wales and exercises other functions conferred on it by the Police Act 1990 or any other Act. NSW Police Force will do any ethical thing necessary for or incidental to the exercise of this function including:
- Preventing, detecting and investigating crime,
- Monitoring and promoting road safety
- Maintaining social order, including coordination of counter-terrorist preparedness,
The NSW Police Force is committed to providing and maintaining responsive and meaningful customer service to both the community and staff.
Public participation in policy development
The NSW Police Force produces a range of policy documents that impact on how police officers work with a range of communities on specific and general issues. These policies and guidelines are designed to raise community awareness of policing functions and accountabilities as well as to build the skills of police officers to understand and apply appropriate responses to community needs around crime prevention, reduction and safety. It is therefore important that community views and needs inform the content of such policies, where appropriate.
There are a number of strategies in place to ensure that this happens, including:
Tailored consultations with service providers and communities: Both as routine practice and in response to emerging issues and/or specific policy projects, the NSW Police Force will design consultations with communities to ensure they have the opportunity to influence NSW Police Force responses. Most of the corporate policies and operational guidelines that focus on specific community groups are developed by Operational Programs. The processes for developing these include identified and targeted consultation strategies to make sure those stakeholders who are affected by the policies and guidelines inform their content as far as practicable.
Corporate advisory Councils: A number of standing advisory Councils have been established to ensure that community views and emerging issues feed directly into systemic policy and operational planning. These include the Police and Aboriginal Strategic Advisory Council, Commissioner's Advisory Council on Culturally Responsive Policing and the NSWPF Disability Advisory Council.
Local advisory councils, inter-agencies and forums: Local Area Commands host and/or participate in a variety of local forums that allow them to hear community views and needs and factor them into local operational planning. These include Community Safety Precinct Committees, Local Area Command Aboriginal Consultative Committees and other forums especially established to address specific community concerns. They also participate in inter-agency forums designed to exchange information about emerging issues and good practice such as the Community Relations Commission Regional Advisory Councils. Communities have access to these forums where their views and needs regarding police responsiveness can be raised and considered by the NSW Police Force.
Participation in NSW Police Force policy development: Members of the public can contact the Customer Assistance Unit on 1800 622 571 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org to raise issues that are then referred to relevant business units for consideration in the formulation of policy and programs responses to communities and operational practice. Comments may also be submitted by post addressed to:
The Commissioner of Police,
Locked Bag 5102,
Parramatta NSW 2124
Description of information held by the NSW Police Force
The NSW Police Force holds the following categories of information:
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
- Operational Policing
- Finance and Administration
- Professional Conduct
- NSWP Handbook
- Memorandums of Understanding (LAW)
Note the list of policy documents held is regularly reviewed and assessed. Access may be gained to policy documents relating to each of the above categories, however certain material may be deleted from documents if it would have a substantial adverse effect on the effective performance by an agency of the agency's functions.
Accessing NSW Police Force information
Access to NSW Police Force information may be considered through either formal or informal applications.
In certain circumstances the NSW Police Force will consider releasing information in response to an informal request eg. Documents relating solely to personal information concerning the applicant. (Informal applications - Information Access Unit)
There is no requirement to complete a formal access application and there is no application fee. In some situations, charges may be incurred for services such as photocopying.
Applications for access to information under the provisions of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 must be in writing, accompanied by the application fee and if requesting personal information proof of identity is required. (Formal applications - Information Access Unit)
Formal and Informal applications should be directed to:
Information Access Unit
NSW Police Force
Locked Bag 5102
PARRAMATTA NSW 2124
NSW Police is required to keep a register of government contracts that record information about each contract that has, or is likely to have a value of $150,000 or more. Details concerning all NSW Police contracts are maintained by Department of Commerce - eTender.
Details concerning decisions made by NSW Police Force in response to an application that may be of interest to other members of the public may be included on a Disclosure Log.
The NSW Police Force's Disclosure Log provides details of:
- The date the application was decided;
- A description of the information to which access was provided;
- A statement as to whether the information is now available to other members of the public and
- How the information can be accessed.
Information tabled in Parliament
NSW Police is required to provide access to information about the agency that has been tabled in tabled in Parliament by or on behalf of the NSW Police. As such the following links are provided:
Tabled papers in Legislative Assembly
Information NOT available
Applications for access to information will be refused under the GIPA Act where there is a conclusive presumption of overriding public interest against disclosure as outlined in Schedule 1 to the GIPA Act. This information may be made available under other laws, depending on the circumstances.
Inquiries in relation to the administration of the GIPA Act by New South Wales Police Force should be referred to:
The Coordinator, Information Access Unit
Office of the Information Commissioner
The Office of the Information Commissioner is independent of government departments and exercises certain oversight functions.
The role of the Information Commissioner is to raise public awareness of the right to information laws and provide assistance, information, support and advice to government departments and the public.
The Information Commissioner has broad investigative powers and may require government departments to provide information and conduct inquiries pertinent to the administration of the GIPA Act.
The Information Commissioner conducts reviews of decisions by NSW Police Force where the applicant is aggrieved by that decision. (Reviews OIC - Information Access)
Further information may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Information Commissioner:
Phone: 1800 INFOCOM (1800 463 626)