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Audit critical of police records

THE Integrity Commission says it cannot be satisfied that complaints against police are being handled properly because of the force’s inadequate and inconsistent record-keeping.
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After auditing the 105 police complaints during 2013, the commission found the record system to be inadequate and ‘‘inconsistent in numerous respects’’.

The audit says many complaints filed in the police database IAPro were inconsistent, missing important details or inaccurate.

“In about half of the 105 complaints audited this year, the allegations listed on IAPro did not accord with either the complainant’s original complaint and/or the investigator’s report,” the audit says.

The commission also found that some complaints were not being registered at all, and that 43 complaints had findings that were not justified by the available evidence.

The audit cites a case in which a complainant had alleged excessive force, including being kicked, kneed and slammed into a police vehicle.

The allegation involved four officers, but only one allegation against one officer was logged, and it was eventually determined to be unfounded.

Commissioner Murray Kellam said the issue was about more than good bookkeeping.

“If the organisation is not maintaining adequate records, for example, it is difficult – if not impossible – to tell if decisions about misconduct allegations are soundly based,” he said.

The audit recommends the introduction of clear and specific guidelines around the use of IAPro, and for officers to be reminded of their obligations to record complaints.

In their response, contained within the audit, police agree that improvements can be made.

‘‘Tasmania Police agrees that sometimes an administrative oversight means an officer or allegation may be missed,’’ they said.

‘‘Recent instructions have been issued to commanders addressing this issue.’’

Police said that the issues would be rectified as more staff were trained in IAPro.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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