Clarification, explanation and statements with regard to news reporting.
For The Record - 2011 to Present
4 June 2019
“On 17 and 18 October 2017, the NSW Police Force conducted a training exercise called Exercise Pantograph.
“The exercise simulated a terrorist or high-risk incident in order to test the coordination and operational response to such an incident.
“On 18 October 2017, the NSW Police Force released photographs and video footage of the exercise to the media.
“The media publicised this material widely to the general public.
“During the training exercise, two officers who were portraying the active armed offenders wore headscarves that the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found would have been identified by members of the public as being Palestinian and/or Arabic headscarves.
“The Tribunal found that it was not necessary to use these headscarves to achieve the objectives of the exercise.
“It found that using them had the capacity to incite members of the public to hatred and/or serious contempt of Palestinian and/or Arabic people. The NSW Police Force had no intention to vilify any racial group.
“However, the Tribunal has confirmed that there does not need to be any intent for racial vilification to occur. NSW Police Force apologises for the use of these headscarves in the exercise.”
May 201828 May 2018
Early in the morning of 24 April 2017, Archer Crichton, the son of Mr Andrew Crichton, tragically died at only 2 months old.
In the very early stages of the police investigation into the incident, an SMS was sent by a police officer to a journalist of the Daily Advertiser. The SMS suggested that Archer had been murdered and that a 'person of interest' was in custody. Having received that SMS, and in light of surrounding circumstances, the Daily Advertiser concluded that Mr Crichton may have been implicated in the tragic death of his son, and subsequently published articles to that effect.
The New South Wales Police Force did not authorise the sending of that SMS, nor was anyone within the New South Wales Police Force, other than that officer, aware of the SMS at the time. The SMS was sent before the facts were known and, as a result, was not accurate. It should never have been sent.
The SMS does not, and did not, represent the views of the New South Wales Police Force and the New South Wales Police Force do not make any suggestion that Mr Crichton was in any way involved in the death of his son.
The New South Wales Police Force sincerely apologises to Mr Crichton for any harm, distress and hurt which have been caused to Mr Crichton, and his family, by the sending of that SMS
1 September 2017
Review of the NSW Police Force’s Firearms Registry
The Minister for Police and Emergency Services approved the Terms of Reference for this Review and agreed to establish the review under the auspices of section 217 of the Police Act 1990. The Terms of Reference of the Review encompass the following issues:
- Whether the Registry’s operations are efficient and effective and align with its legislative and regulatory responsibilities;
- Detailed recommendations for enhancing the Registry’s effectiveness through the use of improved Information Technology solutions, such as smart card licensing, and including a proposed implementation and business plan;
- Opportunities to minimise or abolish any red tape or unnecessary bureaucracy in dealings with Registry customers;
- Whether the Registry is currently managing its relationships with key stakeholders in a manner which is effective in the progressing of its legislative and regulatory role;
- Whether appropriate internal controls and safeguards are in place to manage sensitive information that the Registry holds;
- Appropriate funding options, fee for service and cost recovery opportunities for current and proposed business practices;
- The appropriateness of governance and reporting arrangements for the Registry;
- Whether current functions such as, for example, approving paintball or range approvals are more appropriately located elsewhere within the public sector;
- What scope there is to align the Registry’s regulatory functions to better inform the NSW Police Force’s enforcement of broader firearm and weapons prohibition laws.
The Review was intended to assess Registry functions and processes and recommended business practice and IT system solutions; it was not designed to assess the effectiveness of the legislative framework that governs firearms and weapons prohibition in NSW or Australia.
Read the review (authorised for public release) - Review of the NSW Police Force’s Firearms Registry
24 May 2017
20 December 2016
13 January 2016
No statements were placed in this section in 2015.
1 October 2014
NSW Police Force provided these statements to the Sydney Morning Herald for its story "Petrol theft data useless after procedure change, says crime research body" (1 October 2014)
Statement 1: explaining why the new system for Fail-to-pay (FTP) for fuel reporting was introduced.
Over the last number of years, the NSW Police Force has implemented a number of reforms designed to put more officers on the front line and improve the Force’s engagement with local communities.
As a result of the increase in Fail To Pay fuel thefts (FTPs) seen in NSW in recent years, a new system for reporting and investigating FTPs was needed.
Following extensive consultation and trialling with the service station industry, the NSW Police Force introduced a new system for FTP reporting and investigation in September 2013.
The new system works in the following way:
- Victims of FTP fill out a form and fax it to a centralised police command, PoliceLink, rather than call their local police.
- Once the standardised form is received by PoliceLink Command, the incident details are centrally recorded and, if appropriate, the matter is referred to the relevant local area command for investigation.
This new system helps investigators track trends in FTP, and allows police to identify times and locations where service stations are particularly vulnerable to fuel theft. Furthermore, the new centralised recording system has the ability to help investigators identify and target repeat FTP offenders, some of whom are actively engaged in organised fuel theft.
Ultimately, the insight gained from the intelligence gathering is designed to allow police and industry to work together on designing and implementing informed strategies that will help reduce service stations’ risk of falling victim to FTP.
Crime prevention and crime reduction is a community partnership. Police are committed to tackling FTP crime but we cannot do it by ourselves; we need the help of industry to ensure we can catch and charge those who rob services stations of fuel. It is critical that any service station targeted by fuel thieves fill out the FTP form and fax it to police.
Statement 2: explaining the differences between criminal and civil FTP matters. Petrol theft is considered "Fraud" as per section 192E of the NSW Crimes Act, 1900.
While there are some similarities with larceny, taking the fuel without paying for it is a fraud-related offence as the owner of the petrol (the victim) gives the consumer permission to place the fuel (the benefit) into the tank of the vehicle, never to be retrieved again (permanently depriving the owner) in exchange for payment (the promise).
By intentionally failing to pay for the fuel, the offender has broken an unstated promise to pay for the fuel. Therefore, the victim has been deceived by the offender.
Any case where a consumer appears to intentionally not pay for fuel should be reported to police via the new FTP reporting system.
However, there are occasions where failing to pay for petrol is not a criminal offence.
For example, a motorist enters a service station and places petrol into their vehicle. When an attempt is made by this person to pay for the fuel, they find that they have inadvertently forgotten their wallet or purse and have no other means to pay for the fuel.
In this instance, the customer makes an undertaking to the service station that they will return to pay for the fuel and leaves personal particulars.
In this type of case, the onus is on the service station to track down the payment.
As we've said many times before, police are committed to tackling FTP crime but we cannot do it by ourselves; we need the help of industry to ensure we can catch and charge those who rob services stations of fuel. It is critical that any service station targeted by fuel thieves fill out the FTP form and fax it to police.
Statement 3: explaining why the new system has led to a reduction in FTP reports and outlining the NSW Police Force’s view that FTP incidents can be prevented by the introduction of pay-before-you-pump technology.
The new system for fail-to-pay (FTP) reporting and investigation was introduced following extensive consultation and trialling with industry.
This new system clearly defines the differences between FTP matters that are criminal and those that are civil. Not surprisingly, this has led to a reduction in the number of matters being reported to police.
As for the method of reporting, at the request of industry, the fax-based method was deemed the most suitable for the majority of service stations across the state.
The NSW Police Force maintains the view that FTP incidents can be prevented by the introduction of pay-before-you-pump systems.
26 September 2014
NSW Police Force provided this statement to the Daily Telegraph in relation to the story "No end to drug hell for tower residents" (26 September 2014)
WHAT HAS NSWP DONE TO BRING THE PROLIFIC DRUG PEDDLING DOWN AND CLEAN UP THE PLACE?
On Monday 4 August, 2014, Redfern Police extended its drug unit to 30 officers, some of which were seconded from other Local Area Commands within the Central Metropolitan Region. We are well aware of the drug issues in and around that place and have completed 2 phases - May and June 2014 - of Operation Prevent that targets those suspected of being involved in drug activity. When people are detected with drugs they are arrested, charged and put before the court.
Four other Prevent Operations have been conducted in very close proximity to this place where numerous arrests have been made and person searches and move-ons conducted.
In total, we have conducted more than 650 person searches, issued more than 230 move-on directions and made at least 40 arrests as a result of the Prevent operations.
In August, 2014, Redfern Police initiated the concept of Banning Notices from Housing NSW properties, prohibiting the recipient from entering the relevant building for 12 months. Housing NSW has issued 10 Banning Notices, including three from this location. Police are also aware that at least 3 tenants have been evicted from this site, with another 3 pending.
HAVE THERE BEEN ANY DRUG RELATED ARRESTS IN AND AROUND THE SITE SINCE AUGUST 10?
There have been numerous drug arrests in and around this site, including 6 from the actual site.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO EFFECTIVELY CLEAN UP THIS NOTORIOUS DRUG HOT SPOT?
Continual and persistent activity by Redfern Police. As demonstrated by the Prevent operations, we are making a difference but it will take time. There are legislated processes and regulations that we must adhere to. We conduct pro-active investigations and rely on the continued support and information from our Community. This information greatly assists us with our investigations. We will continue working with the community and other government agencies to clean up the drug problem. The supply of illegal drugs is a deliberate act and this activity impacts heavily on local residents. It's something we won't tolerate and will continue to take strong action to clean up the area.
5 April 2014
In early 2014 there have been several media reports containing inaccurate claims that NSW Police has both recruited and maintained a workforce that has a significant criminal background.
The claims are grossly exaggerated and involve the selective use of data in order to portray a distorted view of the NSW Police Force.
The NSW Police Force currently consists of 16,311 serving police officers.
There are a number of police officers (430) who, at some time in their lives, usually when they were young and in numerous cases when they were children, were convicted of some form of offence.
These offences date back some five decades in some cases.
In the vast majority of cases, these were offences at the lower end of the scale (drink driving, traffic offences primarily) and generally there was a significant period of time between this offence and when the officer was recruited.
NSW Police has a rigorous screening process for new recruits. This includes thorough criminal record checks, fingerprint checks, field based character tests, DNA tests checked against police data bases and from this year, face to face behavioural based interviews of all students at the Police Academy.
By way of example, a potential recruit will not be considered for entry to the academy if they have had a high-range drink driving conviction in the past ten years prior to their application, a mid-range drink driving conviction in the past five years or a low-range drink driving conviction in the past 2 years.
These recruiting strategies are designed to exclude those with a criminal record from entering the NSW Police Force.
If a recruit has some form of conviction in their past, this is dealt with on a case by case basis with the sole consideration of whether this person is suitable to become a police officer. If they are not, they will not be recruited.
If a police officer commits an offence, they are shown no favouritism. They will be charged and out before the court. The NSW Police Force issues a media release if a serving is charged.
Further, the Commissioner than examines the suitability of that person to continue as a police officer. If an officer commits a serious offence, they will be exited from the organisation.
To put this in context, since 2007, 57 currently serving officers have been convicted of some form of offence. In that same period, NSW Police has dismissed a total of 186 officers no longer considered to be suitable to be police officers.
In other words, the Commissioner will remove all unsuitable officers, some of whom may have committed an offence but most will have lost the Commissioner’s confidence for some other reason.
The most misleading claim made in some media reporting is the number of police with convictions has tripled in the last five years.
In fact, there are now fewer officers with any form of conviction. In September 2007, there were 433 officers with some form of conviction.
In March 2014, that number is 430 – this drop has occurred during a period when NSW Police has recruited 5,713 new police officers and the overall strength of the organisation has increased by more than 1,000 officers.
The NSW community should have every confidence that the police force that serves them is a force that is a highly trained and committed force with integrity at the core of its being. Should an officer betray that commitment to integrity, they can expect to be exited.
20 March 2014
Channel 10 News story (20/3/13) on the launch of Operation Javelin IV contained several inaccuracies. The story incorrectly described Operation Javelin IV as "all show and no substance" and that "there was nothing new, not one extra officer".
The facts are:
- Operation Javelin IV is a specific operation targeting fare evasion, crime and anti-social behaviour on the public transport network;
- Operation Javelin IV is intelligence led and officers are rostered and allocated as part of the operation orders;
- This is the first time that officers from the Police Transport Command and Transport Officers have worked together on Javelin;
- This launch was never intended to announce or promote extra officers to the PTC.
The story wrongly stated that the PTC is 200 officers short. The fact is the current authorised strength is 456, the actual number of officers is 416.
And the story contained allegations of an assault on a young woman. NSW Police has reviewed its records and can find no report of the incident. We encourage anyone who is a victim of crime or who sees an incident occurring to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or dial triple zero (000) in an emergency so we can investigate, find those responsible and bring them to justice.
25 February 2014
Ten News on 24 Feb 2014 claimed police numbers are "well below strength" in the CBD precinct. The story also claimed that officers from other specialist commands, including the Police Transport Command are being used to "plug holes". This is untrue.
Central Metropolitan Region (14 Local Area Commands, Region Office and Region Operational Support)
Authorised strength: 2,345 (31 December 2013)
Actual: 2,327 (31 December 2013)
Operational Capacity: 93% (13 December 2013)
Given the operational capacity of Central Metropolitan Region, NSW Police Force can unequivocally assure the community there will be sufficient police to support day-to-day policing and special operational requirements.
The operational capacity for Central Metropolitan Region is currently at 93%, which is above the statewide target of 90%.
Each of the Local Area Commands within the CBD Entertainment Precinct is above the operational capacity target and the difference in actual numbers is minimal.
Operation Compello will be staffed by officers attached to Central Metropolitan Region and specialist units including Alcohol and Licensing Enforcement Command (ALEC), Police Transport Command (PTC), Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Mounted Unit and Dog Unit.
For officers in Central Metropolitan Region, a targeted operation like Compello is not an unusual occurrence; it is an everyday part of policing Australia’s largest city.
21 January 2014
The former NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal (now the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal) announced its decision in the case of Shoebridge v NSW Police on 31 December 2013. This is the response from NSW Police.
The ADT affirmed the decision under GIPAA that police did not hold the CCTV footage viewed by Mr Rook on 20 September 2011 at the time Mr Shoebridge made his application under GIPAA on 8 November 2011.
The Judgement at paragraph 62 states: "...there is no evidence that any officer (in the Respondent - ie: Commissioner of Police) has failed to exercise in good faith any function conferred on them by or under the GIPA Act. If in fact the missing footage was lost between 20 September 2011 and 8 November 2011, it is improbable that any officer with a function conferred on them by or under the GIPA Act would have dealt with the CCTV footage."
Further at paragraph 63 the Judicial Member finds: "I am unable to identify any officer who could be said to have failed to exercise in good faith a function conferred on them."
To suggest the missing footage was deliberately removed would be completely incorrect and not a true reflection of the ADT decision. Equally there is no evidence or indication from the Judicial Member that Rose Bay Police altered any reports. To suggest otherwise would misrepresent the true judicial position and finding.
There is insufficient evidence to substantiate allegations of assault or mistreatment of Mr Rook or Mr Tanner by police in 2011.
20 December 2013
- Trauma Response. This program is available 24 hours a day and provides on site consultation with a psychologist who has expertise dealing with trauma.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available on confidential basis to any staff member, sworn or unsworn, and their families on a 24 hour basis.
- Peer Support Program. This involves a program of 1200 trained officers who identify distressed officers with a view to referring the officer to the appropriate support services. There are trained PSO's across the state.
- WellCheck Program - A psychological risk management tool to identify as early as possible any officers at risk of developing psychological illness as a result of their duties. This program also offers coping strategies to assist with the management of the stressors of their jobs. The program is targeted at units at risk of repeated exposure to traumatic incidents.
- Chaplaincy is available 24/7 for crisis intervention with more than 100 chaplains across NSW.
22 October 2013
4 September 2013
21 June 2013
6 June 2013
10 May 2013
30 April 2013
26 April 2013
16 April 2013
3 April 2013
8 February 2013
5 February 2013
19 December 2012
21 August 2012
9 July 2012
- There is no systemic issue with failed prosecutions in traffic matters due to police not providing cautions
- No recurring issues have arisen from Failed Prosecutions Review Committees
- Cautions are NOT required in many traffic related cases - covered by various pieces of legislation
- Every driver is required to state his or her name, home address, and the name and address of the owner of the vehicle
- If the vehicle is involved in a collision, the driver is required to provide the police officer with an explanation of the circumstances of the crash'
- The person responsible for the vehicle (eg registered operator or custodian) is also required to provide police with the name and address of the person who was driving it if it is alleged that the vehicle was involved in an offence under Road Transport legislation. Thus if the registered operator was the driver at the relevant time, he or she is obliged to admit that fact
- Prosecutors rely on the evidence the officer gives of his or her observations and in most cases NOT the offender's admissions to the police officer - therefore absence of a caution is rarely relevant
26th April 2012
5th March 2012
- We have trained over 700 frontline police in the 4-day training program
- The program has been adopted by ACT AFP
- We present regularly to carers and consumer groups, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and many others
- We have plans to train all frontline police in mental health issues
- We provide advice and guidance to the field on operational policing issues as well as manage policy and strategy provisions for the NSWPF
- We have presented internationally in Europe, USA and Canada
- We are a member of the worldwide Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) International - a body that brings together police forces which have similar programs to the MHIT
15 December 2011
- 27% have resulted in drug seizures;
- 61% have resulted in "residual admit' (no actual drugs found but the person searched admitted to having had contact with drugs, explaining the odour that the drug detection dog has indicated);
- 15% have resulted in "residual deny" (no actual drugs found and the person doesn't admit to having had contact with drugs, attributable to limited powers to conduct more intrusive searches and the person being untruthful about being in contact with drugs).