IBAC decision highlights need for early independent investigation of police complaints

An investigation by IBAC of a police brutality and racism complaint by client Nassir Bare has resulted in IBAC deciding the complaint was unsubstantiated due to insufficient evidence.

“While pleased this complaint was finally independently investigated, the decision by IBAC in regard to Mr Bare is disappointing. It highlights the flaws in a system that did not provide any initial independent investigation when the complaint was first made. Our client’s version of events, of being brutalised and racially abused by police officers has not changed in the 7 years it has taken to get it independently investigated,” said Director of Youthlaw, Ariel Couchman.

“Mr Bare is a courageous young man who spoke out about his experience and continued to request investigation all these years, not only to bring the officers involved to account but to benefit other young people who are too afraid to make complaints.”

The decision of the Court of Appeal still stands and calls into question the police complaints investigation system in Victoria.

“We call on the state government to establish a victim-centred independent body, whether this be an expanded IBAC or a new body, to investigate complaints against police”.

“Until this occurs the number of complaints against police will remain small, as most complaints are still referred back to Victoria Police to investigate. Police who abuse their powers will continue to undermine the good work and practice of their colleagues, and the community will not be confident that justice is being served.” said Ms Couchman.

For further media comment please contact:
Ariel Couchman, Youthlaw Director 0438812937
Tiffany Overall, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer 0400903034