December 2013

20 December 2013

ABC 730 ran a story on Thursday 19 December 2013 "Insurance company spying on stressed cops".  This is the statement NSW Police provided.

NSW Police is not involved in insurance claims and assessments made by former police officers. These policies are contracted by other organisations on behalf of the NSWPF and are ultimately a matter for the insurer and policy holder.

However, the NSWPF is aware of the delays in MetLife's determination of total and permanent disablement claims and the methods used in assessing those claims.

The Force is disappointed with the delays in finalising the claims of the former officers and is concerned at the impact on their ongoing treatment and recovery. The Force has voiced its concerns about the delays.

The NSW Police Force believes that if a former officer is then totally and permanently disabled, they should be paid their benefits as quickly as possible.

MetLife is no longer contracted as one of the insurers of NSW Police officers.

The safety and welfare of all our officers is paramount.

The NSW Police Force has a strong program of support for staff suffering from PTSD and mental illness that includes preventative programs. Support and preventative programs available in the organisation include:

  • 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.

Training is offered across the organisation on resilience and stress management and these are supplemented by programs and presentations from external providers who are Mental Health experts. There are also a number of resources related to mental wellness open to all staff 24/7 through the intranet.

Applicants for jobs within units subject to greater exposure to trauma are psychologically screened prior to entry to those units. This may include the use of a psychologist on the selection panel.

Commanders who have concerns about the psychological wellbeing of an officer can proactively refer the officer to an experienced occupational physician and psychologists in the Police Medical Officer (PMO) unit.

Officers who report psychological injury enter the workers compensation system and are assisted and case managed by both internal Injury Management Advisors as well as case managers from the insurer. Treatment would typically involve both a general practitioner and a mental health professional (psychiatrist/psychologist). Return to Work plans are fashioned around the psychological diagnosis and needs of an officer.

October 2013

22 October 2013

Last night's Four Corners program reported the deaths of two young people at Molong, near Orange, on Australia Day 2010.

The loss of two young lives on the Australia Day long weekend in 2010 was a terrible tragedy.

The Four Corner program contained views, commentary and inferences that were critical of the police investigation into this matter.

However, the most detailed and independent review of both the evidence and the investigation was effectively ignored.

This significant omission denied the program's viewers material that would benefited their understanding of these tragic events.

The Coronial Inquest was a comprehensive, independent examination of all the evidence running over seven days, taking submissions from all the parties in a court setting (a link to the Inquest's findings is below).

It was the conclusive view of the Coroner that the police investigation was "thorough" - she emphasised the point a number of times in her findings.

The investigation was reviewed and summarised by a Superintendent whose review was then examined by another Superintendent at the Professional Standards Command.

The brief of evidence was also examined by the Department of Public Prosecutions.

Magistrate Sharon Freund specifically addressed concerns of the victims' families of a conflict of interest with the police investigation. Ms Freund made it clear that the events "did not occur in a vacuum".

The inquest highlighted the steps that were taken – many of them against the interest of the driver – to ensure that the investigation was “open, transparent and thorough."

Magistrate Freund went further stating that the investigation "was not compromised by the fact that Rhys Colefax is the son of a police officer who was formerly stationed at Orange."

The Deputy Coroner drew attention to a possible anomaly in the relevant legislation in respect of taking evidentiary samples following a fatal accident on private property. Experts within the NSW Police Force and other agencies are currently considering this issue and will advise Government whether amendments are required.

The matter was subject to a thorough and detailed police investigation that has been extensively reviewed and examined internally as well as by independent external authorities.

Link to NSW Coroner's Court findings: Wannan, Eliza & William Dalton-Brown (PDF,319 kb)

September 2013

4 September 2013

ABC 7.30 ran a story on Tuesday 3 September 2013 on the 2009 death of Nadine Haag. The Deputy State Coroner, Paul MacMahon, returned an open finding.

This is the statement provided to the program:

NSW Police have conducted a lengthy investigation into the death of Nadine Haag on the 3rd of December 2009.

Police met with the family on several occasions where they raised a number of issues and concerns.

As a result, the case was reviewed by The Hills Local Area Command and the Homicide Squad.

The Deputy State Coroner said that any criticism of the Officer in Charge was inappropriate and that she complied with each and every request made of her.

Magistrate Paul MacMahon also said that he was satisfied that the evidence disclosed that the "possibility of Nadine's death being self-inflicted is a real one ...[and that] it would not be possible to establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that a known person has caused Nadine's death."

The NSW Police Force's Homicide Squad will review the findings of the Deputy Coroner.

June 2013

21 June 2013

Statement from NSW Police Force regarding ABC “Lateline” report on Catholic Church

Original documentation concerning the meetings was confidential and maintained by the NSW Professional Standards Office of the Catholic Church.

The only material that was shredded were copies of that original documentation which had been circulated to members of the Church's NSW Professional Standards Resource Group prior to each meeting.

The circumstances surrounding the appointment of representatives from the NSW Police Force to the Catholic Church's NSW Professional Standards Resource Group and the manner in which that group operated will be considered by the Special Commission of Inquiry.

NSW Police Force will continue to provide full cooperation and assistance to this Inquiry.

The Inquiry is resuming public hearings next week for a period of four weeks.

6 June 2013

Today's Sydney Morning Herald makes claims that NSW Police are "grossly over-represented" in an Australian Institute of Criminology study on police pursuit-related deaths.  This statement clarifies the situation.

The Australian Institute of Criminology Report indicates that there has been a significant decline in the number of pursuits in New South Wales - down 20% since 2004.

There has also been a decline in the rate of fatal pursuits in NSW, which is also half the national average (1.1/1000 compared with 2.2/1000 nationwide).

It's important to note that states and territories have different definitions of pursuits. In addition, NSW has 1/3 of Australia's population and 5.2 million registered vehicles and 4.6 million licensed drivers.

NSW Police adhere to strict protocols when engaging in pursuits to ensure the safety of the public. If all drivers conduct themselves within the law and stop when signalled to do so by police, there would be no need for pursuits.

May 2013

10 May 2013

Below, please find details regarding the Mounted Police Unit's new agistment facilities in Sydney's Inner West.

The NSW Police Force Mounted Unit is delighted to have been offered access to 13 hectares of land in Sydney’s Inner West for its team of horses to rest.

The Sydney Local Health District has signed an agreement with the Mounted Unit allowing the agistment of police horses within the Yaralla Estate, situated off Nullawarra Avenue, Concord West.

The agreement is in keeping with The Walker Trust Act of 1938, designating the estate, also known as the Dame Eadith Walker and Thomas Walker Estates, for horse agistment and spelling.

Commander of the NSW Police Force's Mounted Police Unit, Inspector Kirsten McFadden, said the new facility would make a huge difference to the unit's horse agistment program.

“The training and agistment facility at the Dame Eadith Walker Estate provides the perfect fit for the NSW Police Force’s Mounted Police Unit,” said Insp McFadden.

“In recent times we have had to utilise a number of different properties for horse agistment. Unfortunately, over the past four years, the number of available properties has decreased, leaving us with a limited amount of space spread across a variety of different locations.

“The Dame Eadith Walker Estate provides sufficient space, stabling and secure buildings, all in one location centrally located between our primary areas of operation – Sydney’s CBD and the western suburbs.

“While we will maintain our operational base at Redfern, the agistment facilities at the estate will enable us to deploy faster and more efficiently than ever before. Plus, our horses will benefit from more regular agistment in a spacious and familiar environment.”

Insp McFadden added that the Mounted Police Unit's use of the estate will be mutually beneficial - for both police and local stakeholders.

“Our unit is the oldest continuously operating mounted police unit in the world, and we have a wealth of experience and expertise in horse and stable management,” Insp McFadden said.

“Not only does this arrangement benefit our officers and horses, we are confident our presence will benefit the facility.”

The Mounted Unit will continue its long tradition of allowing public access to the facility and opportunities to visit the horses.

“In addition, we will run regular open days to give insight into the Mounted Unit and policing in general.”

It is anticipated the Mounted Unit will begin agistment at the Yaralla Estate later in the year.

“We would like to thank the Department of Health for offering us the use of this excellent facility and we look forward to working closely with the Sydney Local Health District over the coming years,” Insp McFadden said.

April 2013

30 April 2013

Today's (30/4/13) Daily Telegraph states that a lack of resources has prevented the Child Abuse Squad from arresting 50 offenders.  This statement clarifies the situation.

There has been a substantial increase in the reporting of crimes against children in the past three to five years which has considerably increased the workload of the Child Abuse Squad.

As a result, the Child Abuse Squad, together with Human Resources, conducted an extensive review into the workload and capabilities of the squad.

A number of recommendations, including an increase in detectives, were made to the Police Executive.

At the time those recommendation were submitted (January 2013), there were approximately 50 offenders outstanding following CAS investigations. All of those offenders were arrested in the subsequent weeks.

The Child Abuse Squad assesses and prioritises all investigations on risk-basis, meaning that incidents where children remain at imminent risk are dealt with immediately.

Since the report was completed (January) the Child Abuse Squad has received 10 additional positions.

26 April 2013

Ten News this evening reported there had been a “spike” in graffiti crime, with record numbers of tags and murals suggesting an “epidemic” in this crime.

The fact is that there has been a increase in the reporting of graffiti. An increase in reporting does not equal an increase inattacks. The follow statement was provided to Ten News but was only partially reported.


Combating graffiti on the NSW public transport network is a priority for NSW Police and the Police Transport Command in particular.

In the last 12 months, 609 people have been arrested for graffiti and graffiti related offences on the transport network.

There has been an increase in the reporting of malicious damage due to the fact that the NSW Police Force has been encouraging reporting by Railcorp to assist in our intelligence base, safety by design responses and overall knowledge of tags, locations, times and dates. The increase was anticipated and incorporated in operational planning by the PTC.

The current command response is significantly more effective than the old Rail Vandalism Taskforce. The entire command is focused on combating graffiti across the transport network.

16 April 2013

The Channel Ten story on the Police Transport Command (15/4) makes false and misleading claims that the establishment of the PTC is not going to plan and that rail passengers are in more danger now than before the PTC was established.

The establishment of the Command has always been planned as a staged process with 610  officers patrolling the state's public transport network by 2014. The PTC has 305 officers - not 284 as was reported by Channel 10. The 'actual' strength figure of 284 was from the Operational Strength figures that were current as of 14 December 2012 (although operational strength does not count those on long term sick leave, maternity leave etc). The PTC is recruiting all the time and by the 14th of May is expected to have 325 officers.

The Police Transport Command is committed to improving public safety on or near near public transport networks by reducing the level of personal and property crime, reducing anti-social behaviour, improving passenger safety and reducing the fear of crime, and improving the co-ordination of safety and policing services on public transport.

Police have more powers to deal with crime when it occurs, police can respond quicker to incidents when they happen  and regular operations are planned and conducted on the transport network - based on intelligence - to prevent and respond to incidents on the transport network.

Since the Command was established on the 1st of May last year, the PTC has made more than 1800 arrests, laid over 3200 charges, issued more than 31000 infringements and conducted over 3700 actions under the Young Offenders Act for a range of offences, including graffiti and fare evasion.

3 April 2013

The following information relates to a 'denial of whistleblower status' story that appeared on the ABC 7:30 Report on 2 April 2013.

The officer sought to make several disclosures under the NSW Public Interest Disclosures Act.

One disclosure was declined because it didn't meet the requirements of the legislation.

The remaining matters were deemed to be protected disclosures meaning the officer is afforded protection under the Act.

In addition, the officer is automatically afforded protection for information disclosures, under the NSW Police Act and the Force's own internal policies.

The officer has been informed of these outcomes.

February 2013

8 February 2013

There is a report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald which suggests Middle Eastern leaders are unhappy that the newly formed Operation Apollo is focused solely on the Middle Eastern community.

The head of Operation Apollo, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis says that is not the case:

"We need to do everything in our power to address this problem,” Det Supt Katsogiannis said.

“There are too many guns in the community and they are being accessed by criminals.

"Apollo builds on the success of Operation Spartan using the criminal investigation and criminal targeting expertise of the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad (MEOCS) in conjunction with the local knowledge and community engagement of Local Area Commands.

“MEOCS also has the existing structure of uniformed police, highway patrol and investigative capacity to disrupt those carrying guns and investigate gun crime.

"Importantly, this is not about targeting a particular community group. In fact, its the opposite. We cannot solve the gun crime problem alone and the relationship with all sections of our community is critical to the success of this operation. Indeed, we are seeing some healthy signs with investigators receiving valuable support and co-operation from community members that is helping us solve crimes and take guns from those who shouldn't have them.

"I want to reassure you that we will continue to listen and consult. We need to work together to make our community a safer place for all our families."

5 February 2013

The New South Wales Police Force notes the story posted on the ITNews website on 29th January 2013, regarding a case between Micro Focus and the NSWPF.

NSWPF believes the article is misleading and inaccurate.

Below is a comment provided by the other party in this dispute -  Micro Focus.

“The Micro Focus representative quoted in this article was not authorised to speak to any media about this matter which is a private matter between Micro Focus and our client. The contents of the article do not reflect the views of Micro Focus and do not provide an accurate summary of the terms of the settlement, the chronology of the proceedings or the conduct of the parties, nor the circumstances leading to the settlement.”