Academic Master


Mechanisms of Governance in Policing and Security


The government of New South Wales accepted to adopt the report on the review of the police oversight which was prepared by Mr Andrew Tink AM, the nation’s former attorney general. In his report, Mr Tink formulated some recommendations that should be made in the task of reforming the police oversight authority. Among these recommendations include the creation of single oversight body composed of civilians in charge of monitoring the police force in New South Wales as well as a Crime Commission. The government having been satisfied with the model proposed by the Mr Tink commissioned the establishment of the new commission proposed for oversight functions. This commission was named as the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) which took over the functions carried out by the existing oversight bodies. The government also mandated the department of justice to coordinate the successful implementation of the recommendations contained in the Tink report on the review of the police oversight (Parliament of New South Wales 2016, pp.23). Following the adoption of the bill presented to the parliament in 2016 by the government proposing the formation of the new oversight body, LECC, the body started its operations in 2017.

This report seeks to look into the success in the implementation of some of the recommendations contained in the Tink report on the Review of the police oversight by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC). Some of the key recommendations assessed in this report are the extent of success in the application of changes proposed in the Crime Commission about the police oversight duties. Further, this report will assess the performance of the new oversight body in the execution of duties previously undertaken by the disbanded bodies that include the PIC, PDOO while the inspector in charge of the crime commission was retained during the establishment of the new commission.

Main Context

The government established the Law Enforcement Crime conduct as the new commission mandated to perform the oversight duties on the work done by the police force in the New South Wales. The new Commission replaced the incumbent oversight bodies including the commission tasked on checking the integrity of the police, PIC, and the police division of the Ombudsman’s office as well as other oversight bodies that existed before its establishment (NSW Government Justice 2017, pp.1). LECC took over the functions undertaken by the different oversight bodies and now serves as the central body through which the public can report any issue concerning the conduct of police officers (Tink 2015, pp.4). This has eliminated the duplication of roles that previously existed when separate bodies tasked with oversight duties were functional. This makes it easier for the public to report arising issues related to the police activities within the community in New South Wales and follow on the progress of the case from a central point. The merging of pre-existing bodies to form a single civilian entity known as the Law Enforcement conduct commission eliminates the overlapping of roles that existing when several oversight bodies were in existence thereby complicating the process of solving the police-civilian dispute (McGowan 2018, pp.1). Through the Law Enforcement Crime Conduct commission, the process of dispute resolution between the police officers and the public has become more elaborate which enhances harmony and peaceful coexistence among the two. The creation of a single civilian oversight body also the cost of operations of the oversight body, due to reduced budget (NSW Government Justice 2017, pp.1). The excess resources regarding personnel and operating costs that were allocated to the different bodies that were in existence for the performance of similar functions are now allocated to LECC, which requires minimal resources as it is centrally placed.

The Law Enforcement Crime Commission is now tasked with conducting investigations into alleged lack of proper conduct and poor administration of laws and policies by law enforcement officers or police both currently employed or previously working for the police officers and the Crime Commission in New South Wales (NSW Government 2015, pp.1). Following the recommendations outlined in the Tink report on the review of police oversight, LECC commission is tasked with the oversight role of ensuring the New South Wales police force together with the Crime Commission conduct proper investigations in to the alleged misconduct of their employee.

The government, in accordance with the recommendations proposed in the Tink report, has mandated the Law Enforcement Crime Commission to play an oversight role over the New South Wales Crime Commission which is tasked with the role of conducting investigations on serious cases that are related to crime as well as organized crime (Tink 2015, pp.3). The law enforcement crime conduct also plays an oversight role for the New South Wales police force which is still mandated under the recommendations in the Tink report, to conduct investigations on critical incidents that occur within the community. It is necessary to ensure the new commissions oversees the activities of the police force due to concerns raised by the public concerns the integrity of the exercise.

The NSW police force notifies the Law Enforcement Crime Conduct commission before the commencement of an investigative activity concerning a critical incident. After notification, the officers working for the commission will assume the oversight duties including visiting the scene of the crime, receiving investigation reports and participating in the interview of the witness to the incident being investigated. However, this does not mean that the commission may interfere with the process of the investigation through direct control (McGowan 2018, pp.1).

The New South Wales government ensures that the Law Enforcement Crime Conduct commission does not overstep its mandate according to the constitution by appointing an inspector who monitors the operations of the commission. The inspector conducts an audit exercise on the commission regularly to assess how it uses the secret powers (NSW Government 2015, pp.1). The inspector also investigates the conduct of the commission to make sure it follows the law in the execution of its constitutional mandates while at the same time maintaining good public confidence. The inspector, on the other hand, is answerable to the parliament in the New South Wales.

The implementation of the recommendations contained in the Tink report has however been accompanied by a lot of challenges which has prevented the new commission from effectively performing its oversight role. The cases that the commission are currently handling are continually increasing while the commission is inadequately funded by the government. This challenge coupled with lack of enough personnel on its ranks make it unable to fulfil the recommendations. In a recent assessment of the overhaul of police oversight by the New South Wales government, it noted that more than fifty complaints concerning the integrity of the police had been ignored in the last seven months due to lack of sufficient funds to follow them up (McGowan 2018,pp.1).


The approach recommended by the Tink report, if fully implemented by the government, presents an opportunity to oversee the activities of the police force to make sure they are accountable for the execution of their duties. Although major gaps are still present in the model proposed by Mr Tink, it has a great potential to improve the effectiveness of the performance of the oversight bodies. At the same time, it minimizes the costs of operations and eliminates the confusion and uncertainty experienced by the public who reported incidents.


NSW Government (2015). New law enforcement watchdog for NSW, pp.1.

NSW Government Justice (2017). The Tink Review into Police Oversight and the NSW Government’s Response, pp. 1.

McGowan, M. (2018). NSW police watchdog says cuts forced it to ignore misconduct complaints, pp. 1.

Tink, A. (2015). Review of Police Oversight. A report to the New South Wales Government on options for a single civilian oversight model for police, pp.1-5.

Parliament of New South Wales (2016). Parliament of New South Wales Committee on the Ombudsman, the Police Integrity Commission and the Crime Commission: 2016 Review of the Annual Reports of Over sighted Bodies, pp 20-25.



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