Ageing, disability and homelessness are issues that increase people’s vulnerability to victimisation and, at the same time, reduce their likelihood of reporting crime or seeking assistance. Other social and health issues may coexist with these issues, increasing vulnerability, e.g. domestic violence, mental illness, etc. Police attending these types of incidents where ageing, disability and / or homelessness are also apparent, may need to access or refer to specialist services such as Auslan interpreters, Justice Advocacy Service, the NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline and the Link2Home service.

Amongst our strategies to enhance our response to the abuse, neglect and exploitation of older people, people with disability and homeless persons, NSW Police Force employs Aged Crime Prevention Officers) in a number of Metropolitan and Regional Commands.

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 information about crime)

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

Emergencies

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 How to lodge a complaint page.

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

Ageing and Disability Commissioner

The NSW Government has established the Ageing and Disability Commissioner to better protect adults with disability and older people from abuse, neglect and exploitation by someone they know in their home, or community.

For abuse of older people and adults with disability call:
NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline 
1800 628 221 (Mon-Fri, 9-5)

For abuse of children with disability call:
132 111 (24/7)

Anti-Discrimination Board

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

Aged Crime Prevention Officers

In June 2016, the Parliamentary Inquiry into Elder Abuse, (Recommendation 10) proposed:

That the NSW Police Force establish a Vulnerable Community Support Officer in each Regional Command in New South Wales, with the position entailing training and support to front line officers, police response, liaison with local service providers and other government agencies, community education, awareness and engagement.

In 2018, the NSW Government announced an enhancement of 1500 police officers to protect communities and fight crime.  Of those, an Aged Crime Prevention Officer would be established in each Police Command, to be rolled out over 4 years.

The establishment of these specialist Aged Crime Prevention Officer (ACPO) positions acknowledges the need for early intervention for individuals who are at risk and provides the opportunity to improve police understanding of elder abuse, customise police responses to the special needs of elderly victims and assist to reduce general community and cultural risk factors.

The integration of these ACPO positions policing communities has seen the establishment of 12 ACPOs located at the following PACs/PDs:

Central West PD

Coffs/Clarence PD

Eastern Suburbs PAC

Lake Macquarie PD

Liverpool PAC

Mid North Coast PD

Monaro PD

Newcastle City PD

North Shore PAC

Orana Mid Western PD

Port Stephens Hunter PD

South Coast PD

Ageing

Disability

Homelessness

  • Link2Home Homelessness 1800 152 152 – the NSW wide homelessness information and referral telephone service and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides information, conducts assessments, and makes referrals to homelessness services across NSW.
  • Specialist Homelessness Services