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Media Release - Commission urges NSW Police Force to publish a Closing the Gap delivery plan

Monday, 23 October 2023

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission has reviewed the NSW Police Force’s 2018-2023 strategy to improve relations with First Nations people in NSW, according to a new report.

The report, tabled in NSW Parliament today, recommends the NSW Police Force publishes a Closing the Gap delivery plan and recognises the valuable role of the Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers and First Nations staff in improving the cultural awareness within the police force. 

The Commission’s report, known as the NSW Police Force Aboriginal Strategic Direction 2018-2023 monitoring report calls on the NSW Police Force to set out the action it will take to help NSW achieve Closing the Gap targets of reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal young people and adults in the criminal justice system.

The Commission’s report also asks the police force to review its policies relating to officer discretion in day-to-day policing interactions to avoid the over-representation of Aboriginal people and increase opportunities for diversion from the criminal justice system.

Chief Commissioner Peter Johnson SC described the significance of the role of police in improving criminal justice outcomes for First Nations communities.

“We know that the New South Wales Police Force’s role is to enforce the law.

“At the same time, police should be doing everything possible to ensure their actions are consistent with the New South Wales Government’s Closing the Gap priorities and targets,” he said.

The NSW Police Force has informed the Commission it has developed a new Aboriginal Strategic Direction which emphasises cultural awareness training and continued engagement with Aboriginal communities.

The Commission’s NSW Police Force Aboriginal Strategic Direction 2018-2023 monitoring report can be found on this link and a fact sheet about the Commission’s report can be found here. A video summary of the report can be viewed on the LECC YouTube channel.  To obtain pre-recorded interview footage and grabs of the Commissioner, contact LECC Media.