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Media Release - Presentation of LECC Report Operation Hosta

LECC Report into investigation of NSWPF officer using unreasonable and excessive force on civilian at train station

Media Release

24.03.2022

LECC Report into investigation of NSWPF officer using unreasonable and excessive force on civilian at train station

 The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (‘the Commission’) furnished its report in Operation Hosta to Parliament today.

The Commission investigated the conduct of an officer of the NSW Police Force (‘NSWPF’) during the arrest of a civilian at a train station, and considered whether the conduct was serious police misconduct.

On 6 November 2018 a civilian exited the train station barriers without appearing to pay the required fare and was placed under arrest by an officer of the NSWPF with the assistance of two colleagues. A bystander began filming this arrest but the officer attempted to stop the bystander from doing so. 

During the arrest, the officer pushed the civilian up against a wall and handcuffed and searched him, before moving him into the station manager’s room. Inside this room, the officer forced the civilian down onto his knees and verbally abused him. Video footage obtained from the body-worn camera of the officer shows the civilian was visibly upset, and despite this, the verbal abuse by the officer continued, including taunting the civilian with “father of the year, isn’t it?” 

A private examination was listed to be heard on 4 December 2020, however this was adjourned on the application of the officer’s legal representative. A subsequent date of 27 January 2021 was set for the private examination, however this was also adjourned on the application of the officer’s legal representative on medical grounds, supported by a medical certificate stating that the officer would not be fit to give evidence until August 2021. Due to the lengthy delays and a change in legal representative, the officer was offered the opportunity to give evidence at the Commission or to make submissions in response to a draft report. The latter option was chosen, and the Commission considered submissions that were received. 

Findings

The Commission has formed the view that the conduct of this officer has the potential to bring the NSWPF into disrepute.

The Commission finds that the conduct of the officer, in unlawfully searching and using unreasonable and excessive force towards the civilian, and also in engaging in bullying conduct towards a bystander and the civilian, was serious misconduct.

The Commission recommends that consideration be given to the making of an order under s 181D of the Police Act 1990 by the NSW Police Force against the officer.

The Operation Hosta report can be accessed on the Commission’s website.

 

 

 

Acknowledgement of Country

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we work, and recognises their continuing connection to the lands and waters of NSW. We pay our respects to the people, the cultures, and the Elders past and present.

acknowledgement-of-country