Complaints against police

The law about complaints against police in South Australia is found in the Police Complaints and Discipline Act 2016 (SA) and all references in this section are to this Act unless otherwise stated.

Any person may make a complaint about the conduct of a member of the police, or a cadet, or special constable, to another member of the police, cadet, or special constable, or to a police public servant, or the Office for Public Integrity (OPI) [s 10].

Anyone charged with a criminal offence should speak to his or her lawyer promptly. People in custody have a right to make a complaint and police must take all reasonable steps to enable this to happen [s 11].

A police officer, cadet, or special constable, who reasonably suspect that another police officer, cadet, or special constable, has been involved in misconduct, corruption or maladministration in public administration must make a report to the Internal Investigations Section (see below) or the OPI [s 12].

It is an offence for a person to prevent, hinder or obstruct someone from making a complaint or report under the Act [s 41].

Maximum penalty imprisonment for two years or $10 000 fine.

It is an offence to make a complaint or report under the Act knowing that there are no grounds for making the complaint [s 42(b)].

Maximum penalty imprisonment for two years or $10 000 fine.

PLEASE NOTE -

From 4 September 2017 the Office of the Police Ombudsman has closed and the responsibility for the oversight of complaints against the police has transferred to the Office for Public Integrity (OPI). This will have no practical effect on any complaint made before 4 September as those complaints which have not been dealt with and finalised by the Office of the Police Ombudsman will automatically be transferred to the OPI.

The website for the OPI is here: https://opi.sa.gov.au/police-complaints/

Complaints against police  :  Last Revised: Mon Sep 4th 2017
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