Investigating a complaint

Internal Investigation Section

Except in special circumstances, complaints are investigated by the Internal Investigation Section, a team of experienced police officers. The investigator will usually wish to speak to the complainant, the officer(s) involved and anyone else able to help with the inquiry. In certain cases the Ombudsman may, after consultation with the Commissioner of Police, determine that a complaint should be investigated by staff of the Ombudsman [Police (Complaints and Disciplinary Proceedings) Act 1985 (SA) ss 18-19, 22A, 23, 25].

Cooperating with investigations

It is an offence for a person to hinder or obstruct an investigation. The maximum penalty is a fine of $10 000 or imprisonment for two years [Police (Complaints and Disciplinary Proceedings) Act 1985 (SA) 28A].

Monitoring of investigations

The Ombudsman monitors the progress of all investigations and may inspect any documents or speak to anybody about a complaint. From time to time, staff of the Ombudsman are present at interviews, and the Ombudsman's facilities and premises may also be made available [Police (Complaints and Disciplinary Proceedings) Act 1985 (SA) s 26].


Investigations are carried out in strict confidence. However, if a Court, Tribunal or Royal Commission subpoenas a file of the Ombudsman, then confidentiality may be breached [Police (Complaints and Disciplinary Proceedings) Act 1985 (SA) ss 48(4) and (7)].


There is no charge for the investigation of complaints.

Investigating a complaint  :  Last Revised: Fri Sep 19th 2014
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