Media Release - Operation Cusco
An investigation into the conduct of multiple bail checks on an accused person in the Newcastle City Local Area Command between May and August 2014.
PRESENTATION OF LECC REPORT – OPERATION CUSCO
The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission furnished a report to Parliament today in Operation Cusco, following a complaint made about multiple and oppressive bail checks conducted by New South Wales Police Force officers on a bailed person in 2014.
The investigation found that in May 2014, CU1 was charged with serious criminal offences and granted bail. NSWPF officers from the Newcastle City Local Area Command commenced conducting bail compliance checks at the property where CU1 was residing with his partner. In 2015 all criminal charges were dropped.
In the period from 10 May to 19 August 2014, police conducted 55 bail compliance checks, often very late at night and on some occasions two or three times in a 24 hour period. There was evidence that on 13 June 2014, lawyers for CU1 faxed a letter to the relevant police commanders revoking any licence that the police had to enter the premises however there was no evidence of police receiving that communication. The bail checks continued at the same rate so the lawyers for CU1 resent the letter on 21 August. The police responded appropriately to that letter immediately.
The Commission found that at least from mid-June 2014 the frequency and timing of the checks was unjustified, unreasonable and oppressive and that the situation arose in part from unintentional double checks due to the failure of one shift to communicate with a succeeding shift that a check had already been carried out. This was a failure in the system. Accordingly the Commission did not make any misconduct finding against individual officers.
The Commission found that the problem in the Newcastle Area Command identified in the investigation was corrected in 2017. The Commission intends to conduct an audit of other police commands to ensure that a consistent approach is being adopted throughout the State.
The Operation Cusco report can be found on the Commission website.
The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission is an independent statutory body. The principal functions of the Commission are to detect, investigate and expose serious misconduct and serious maladministration within the NSW Police Force and the NSW Crime Commission.
The Commission is separate from and completely independent of the NSW Police Force and NSW Crime Commission. The Commission will treat all information confidentially and has powers to protect persons who provide information to it.