Victoria report calls for overhaul of police system to counter racism claims
A new report has said that there is a need for a major overhaul in investigations of police brutality and racism in the Australian state of Victoria.world Updated: Mar 18, 2010 20:01 IST
A new report has said that there is a need for a major overhaul in investigations of police brutality and racism in the Australian state of Victoria.
The "inadequate" watchdog system in Victoria means Africans now expect police mistreatment while nearly 20 claims of racism over the past three years have never been investigated, the report says.
"The lack of an effective oversight body amounts to African young people (and probably other groups as well) being structurally excluded from justice,'' says the 40-page report by the Springvale Monash Legal Service, released in full today.
"The state's mechanisms for handling complaints against the police do not inspire community confidence. Complaints to police oversight bodies - the majority in relation to police assault - are largely unsuccessful," the report said.
Renewed calls to review how cases of police misconduct are investigated came today after Victoria's police chief Simon Overland this week admitted there was racism in the force but he was working hard to stamp out such attitudes.
Africans have launched ongoing civil action against police in three separate cases recently, including eight Moonee Ponds officers who are accused of the assault and false imprisonment of a 19-year old who had lost part of his eyesight.
Police complaints can be handled by Office of Police Integrity (OPI), but most are sent to the police Ethical Standards Branch.
A Victoria Police statement said an overhaul of the system was a matter for the Government and OPI to discuss, not the police.