Media Release - Operation FARO
The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission’s (“the Commission”) Operation Faro, arose from a complaint in relation to the use of force used by a Sergeant, Senior Constable and Constable of the NSW Police Force (“NSWPF”) during the arrest of a male civilian on 27 January 2020. The NSWPF Taser Review Panel (“TRP”) conducted a review of the use of the taser and found that it had complied with the NSWPF Standard Operating Procedure for taser use.
The Commission’s investigation focused on the allegations against the officers relating to the arrest in question, the officer’s use of force during the arrest, as well as the adequacy of the systems of the NSWPF for the recording, monitoring and review of taser use by police officers. In the course of its investigation, the Commission conducted multiple private hearings in which a total of 5 witnesses were called to give evidence.
Although the Commission found the arrest of the civilian was unlawful, the evidence did not support a finding of serious misconduct against the officers for the arrest and use of police appointments including handcuffs and OC spray on the civilian. The use of the taser however, was considered unnecessary and unjustified, although it did not of itself constitute serious officer misconduct.
Whilst the Commission did not find any maladministration on the part of the NSWPF, the evidence highlighted gaps in the process for managing taser use in the NSWPF. The Commission identified significant factual errors in the COPS Event for the incident, and miscataloged evidence which resulted in non-disclosure of pertinent Body Worn Video to the TRP, and inadequate meeting minutes by the TRP. As a result of these findings, the Commission recommended the officer who fired the taser, undergo further training and counselling. The Commission also recommended the NSWPF undergo a review of its process and procedure with respect to the recording, monitoring and review of taser use by the NSWPF.