Currently, IBAC only investigates 2 per cent of complaints against police. (ABC News: Stephanie Anderson)
‘Current system is broken’
Tamar Hopkins, from the Police Accountability Project at the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, said the report was “absolutely historic”.
“We have a committee recognising that the current system is broken and that profound change needs to occur in Victoria,” Ms Hopkins said.
“This is the first time that any official body has taken this as seriously as we see in this report.”
Lawyer Jeremy King said it was “significant” that there would now be a definition of misconduct and clearer rules around what IBAC would investigate.
“If it falls within [IBAC’s] mandate they have to investigate it. They can’t just refer it back to Victoria Police to deal with. And that’s really significant,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
Ms Hopkins said until now IBAC’s focus has been on corruption, rather than misconduct, and that a new specialist division within the body would help steer the direction.
“That’s a real step forward,” Ms Hopkins said.
But she also raised concerns about a lack of transparency provisions, including a continued exemption of IBAC complaint handling from FOI requests and a lack of judicial review.
“That’s deeply concerning,” Ms Hopkins said.
“It’s a basic part of democracy that that be allowed.”