Media Release - Operation Tepito
On 13 February 2020, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission furnished its interim Operation Tepito report to Parliament. This investigation considers the formulation and use of the NSW Police Force Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) on children and young people.
The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission furnished its interim Operation Tepito report to Parliament today, which was an investigation into the formulation and use of the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) on children and young people.
The investigation considered a cohort of 429 young people who had been placed on the STMP between 2016 and 2018. The investigation found:
- a high proportion of young people who the NSWPF had identified as ‘possibly ATSI’ were selected for STMP targeting;
- the most common strategies used by the NSWPF to interact with young STMP targets involved patrols, ‘stop search and detain’ interactions and visible monitoring, which in some circumstances appear unreasonable;
- in some cases the NSWPF used a young person’s STMP status as a basis for ongoing and repeated stops, searches or visits to the young person’s home, in lieu of legislative or court ordered frameworks;
- the target identification and risk assessment process may have introduced unacceptable risks of bias; and
- the NSWPF did not undertake evidence-based evaluations to assess the success, or otherwise, of the STMP on targeted individuals.
The report makes 15 recommendations, which were first provided to the NSWPF in October 2019. The key recommendations are that:
- the NSWPF creates a risk assessment tool for the STMP that has been assessed as valid and reliable for use in relation to young people;
- the NSWPF increases the engagement of Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers in the development and application of the STMP for Aboriginal children and young people; and
- the NSWPF increases the use of strategies that prioritise preventative and therapeutic responses to criminal behaviour of young people on the STMP.
The NSWPF was consulted by the Commission during the development of the recommendations and has taken significant steps to address problems with the application of the STMP to children and young people in response to the report’s 15 recommendations.
The Operation Tepito interim report can be found on the Commission website.
Contact: Jessica Friendship