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Release of report on LECC Operation Baltra

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission has found that a Leading Senior Constable engaged in serious misconduct after he punched an intoxicated woman (Ms Z) in police custody on 15 September 2017

20 September 2018

Media Release 

RELEASE OF REPORT ON LECC OPERATION BALTRA

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission has found that a Leading Senior Constable engaged in serious misconduct after he punched an intoxicated woman (Ms Z) in police custody on 15 September 2017.*

The Commission’s Operation Baltra held private hearings to determine whether the officer involved (Officer A): 

  1. Used excessive force when he punched Ms Z to the head with a closed fist whilst her hands were handcuffed behind her back.
  2.  
  3. Breached NSWPF policies and guidelines when he recorded the CCTV footage of the incident on his mobile phone and subsequently shared that footage with a Snapchat group, which comprised other police officers from Police Station X.

The Commission has found that the punch with a closed fist by Officer A to the side of Ms Z’s head was an unreasonable use of force and that Officer A engaged in serious  misconduct as defined in section 10 of the LECC Act. 

The Commission is satisfied that Officer A was in breach of the NSWPF policies and guidelines with respect to his filming of the CCTV footage and that the dissemination of it to other police officers via Snapchat was unauthorised.  Notwithstanding this finding, the Commission is satisfied that Officer A genuinely believed that he was not breaching any policies or guidelines by sharing the information with other police officers in his team. 

The Commission’s recommendation, outlined in its Operation Baltra report presented to Parliament today, is that consideration should be given to the taking of action against Officer A with a view to dismissing the officer pursuant to section 181D of the Police Act 1990. 

The Operation Baltra report and associated footage can be found on the Commission website. 

Background

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. 

* Codenames have been used in the report to protect the identities of the involved persons. 

MEDIA: Louisa Dear, 0425 317 535