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Critical Incident Monitoring

Critical Incidents

A critical incident is an incident involving a NSW police officer that results in the death or serious injury of a person. Section 110 of the LECC Act.

Investigating Critical Incidents

The NSW Police have responsibility for the investigation of critical incidents. The Commissioner of Police is to ensure that the actions of members of the NSW Police involved in a critical incident at the time of, and leading to, the critical incident are fully and properly investigated. Section 113 of the LECC Act.

A critical incident investigation is not a misconduct investigation, however the police investigation should include an examination of any evidence or complaints of misconduct, if they exist.

If there is potential police misconduct relating to a critical incident, the LECC cannot investigate that misconduct until after the conclusion of the critical incident investigation by the NSW Police. Section 44(9) of the LECC Act.  The LECC will ensure that any allegations of misconduct are considered and addressed by the NSW Police. 

LECC Monitoring of Critical Incident Investigations

The LECC has the power to independently oversight and monitor the investigation of critical incidents by the NSW Police, if it is in the public interest to do so. Section 114 of the LECC Act.

The LECC monitors the investigation of all declared critical incidents. The LECC may cease monitoring a critical incident investigation if it later considers that it is no longer in the public interest.  This may occur where the link between the death and/or serious injury does not appear to be connected with the action or inaction of police.

It is intended that the LECC’s monitoring of critical incident investigations will provide the public and the next of kin an assurance that the NSW Police investigation into each critical incident is conducted in a competent, thorough and objective manner. In the course of monitoring, the LECC considers whether the NSW Police have adequately considered: 

  • the lawfulness and reasonableness of the actions of NSW police officers involved in the critical incident;
  • the extent to which the actions of the NSW police officers complied with relevant law and policies and procedures of the NSW Police Force;
  • any complaint about the conduct of involved officers and any evidence of misconduct;
  • the need for changes to relevant policies, practices and procedures; and
  • any systemic, safety or procedural issues arising from the action of NSW police officers.

If the LECC forms the view that the investigation is not being conducted in an appropriate manner, it can advise the NSW Police and/or the Coroner of its concerns and make recommendations. The NSW Police is required to consider and respond to concerns and recommendations raised by the LECC. The LECC may make the advice public if it considers that it is in the public interest to do so. 

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.