A NSW Government website

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.

Investigating critical incidents

The NSW Police are responsible for the investigation of critical incidents. 

A critical incident investigation is not a misconduct investigation.  However the Police should consider any evidence or complaints of misconduct as part of their investigation.

LECC monitoring of critical incident investigations

We monitor the Police investigation of all critical incidents.  

We do this by:

  • Attending the scene of the incident (where possible)
  • Speaking regularly with the police critical incident investigator
  • Reviewing the investigation documents
  • Providing suggestions to the investigator, if that is appropriate

We can make sure that the investigation considers:

  • whether the actions of the police officers were lawful and reasonable
  • if the police officers followed and complied with relevant policies and procedures
  • that any complaints or allegations of misconduct are considered
  • whether there is a need for changes to police policies, practices and procedures

By monitoring critical incident investigations, we can make sure that the police investigation is competent, thorough and objective.  We hope that this is some comfort to the family of the person who has died or was injured, and to the public.

If we think that the investigation is not being conducted appropriately we can advise the Police or the Coroner of our concerns.  We can recommend changes to the way in which the investigation is being conducted.  The Police are required to consider our concerns and recommendations.  

Sometimes, we stop monitoring a critical incident investigation.  We are likely to do this when the death and/or serious injury does not appear to be related to what the police officers did.