IBAC publishes responses to our investigations to inform the community about actions agencies advise they are taking and to assist Victoria Police and the public sector to strengthen policies, systems and practices to prevent corruption and misconduct.
In Operation Gloucester, IBAC made three recommendations with Recommendation 1 requiring Victoria Police to report to IBAC on its progress in actioning this recommendation by 30 April 2021. Recommendation 1 was as follows:
Victoria Police reviews and amends the Victoria Police Manual (VPM) and its training to ensure police officers fully understand and comply with their obligations regarding evidence gathering and disclosure practices in investigations of criminal conduct, with a focus on statements and record keeping. The VPM and training should include the elements of proper practices in the making, taking and disclosure of a witness statement, and contemporaneous notes. These are highlighted in Figure 1 in section 1.2 of the report. Additionally, Victoria Police’s review should consider:
- the guidance and direction provided in other jurisdictions with a view to identifying other good practices
- officers’ obligations regarding evidence and disclosure under the Criminal Procedure Act 2009
- how to most effectively communicate to all officers, including those who do not receive regular formal training, the obligations in recording evidence and the obligations of disclosure
- the role of supervising and senior officers in ensuring officers understand and comply with their evidentiary and disclosure obligations, and how this may be improved to address the concerns identified by Operation Gloucester
- how to achieve understanding by officers that non-compliance with the rules of evidence and the obligations of accurately recording and disclosing relevant evidence may affect the administration of justice and constitute misconduct or corruption.
IBAC recommended Victoria Police provide a progress report to IBAC on this review in nine months and full report on the outcome of this review within 18 months.
In July 2021, Victoria Police provided IBAC with a progress report outlining the action it had taken to date in response to Recommendation 1. Victoria Police's response is outlined below.