Guidance material

'Cover up' behaviours that mask police misconduct

Through our research and investigations, IBAC has observed a range of behaviours that can allow misconduct to go undetected and even take hold in policing.

If they go unchecked, these behaviours enable misconduct to be covered up or hidden, which impacts the ability to investigate and stop it.

This graphic outlines five key patterns of obscuring or 'cover up' behaviour that can occur and that Victoria Police needs to guard against.

Some of the key ways police can try to conceal misconduct, include:

  1. Officers directly involved in misconduct conceal or fail to accurately disclose and report their actions.
  2. Police witnesses conceal or fail to accurately disclose and report the misconduct.
  3. Managers/supervisors fail to rigorously inquire into and report, or actively conceal the misconduct of officers and police witnesses.
  4. Investigators fail to adequately assess the evidence of misconduct, recommend appropriate sanctions, or consider actions that may have concealed misconduct.
  5. Senior leaders fail to acknowledge, expose or address the misconduct.

This graphic can be used as a slide in training presentations or shared as a handout:

Cover up behaviours that mask police misconduct

When presenting this slide, consider asking the following questions:

  • What would you do if you saw or found out about this sort of behaviour or conduct?
  • What will you do now to stop these behaviours and prevent them happening again?