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Media Release - Review of NSW Police Force use of force reporting

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

The NSW Police Force’s database does not accurately record the police’s use-of-force, according to the findings of a Law Enforcement Conduct Commission report released on 21 Feb 2023.

The Commission’s review identified under-reporting of police using firearms, Tasers and capsicum spray in their record-keeping database.

More than 70% of the 210 official police records the Commission reviewed contained at least one error, despite supervising officers checking those records.

Chief Commissioner Peter Johnson SC noted that making improvements to the data-collection system of police use-of-force record-keeping could help to improve public trust.

“The police have significant powers to use force in certain circumstances.

“One way of making sure that the police’s use-of-force is reasonable and lawful is to make sure that there is an accurate record of any police use-of-force.

“Good records allow for proper scrutiny of the frequency of use-of-force and the circumstances in which it is used.

“If extra training is needed, that can be identified.

“Good record-keeping allows the NSW Parliament, Commissioner of Police and the general public to know that these significant powers are effective and how they are exercised,” he said.

The report recommends the NSW Police Force improve the training and instructions given to officers about how to record use-of-force.

In response to the report, the NSW Police Force said it will develop new policy, guidelines and training.

The Commission’s report into the creation of a more effective data-collection system of police use-of-force record-keeping can be found here.

 A Fact Sheet about the Commission’s report can be found here.

LECC Media Contact: Rob Schell

Mobile: 0425 317 535

Email: media@lecc.nsw.gov.au