Special report on police misconduct issues and risks associated with Victoria Police's Critical Incident Response Team
Through its work overseeing Victoria Police, IBAC has identified incidents involving Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) officers that raise misconduct risks. This special report outlines those incidents, the misconduct risks, recommendations IBAC has made to Victoria Police, and work that Victoria Police has undertaken to improve practices in CIRT.
Victoria Police's CIRT takes a leading role in responding to high-risk incidents. Such incidents regularly involve significant threats to the safety of those involved, including the responding police officers and members of the public. Through its specially trained and equipped officers, CIRT is responsible for helping to resolve such incidents lawfully and safely.
IBAC has identified several incidents involving CIRT officers that raise misconduct issues and risks. Three incidents have highlighted these vulnerabilities to IBAC and are the focus of this special report:
- the Inflation Nightclub incident
- Operation Lynd
- Operation Wingan.
The misconduct risks and issues identified in this report relate to:
- inaccurate use of force reporting
- inadequate risk assessment processes which can increase the risk of using force on members of the public
- poor communication by CIRT officers when responding to incidents
- CIRT officers acting inconsistently with the Charter of Human Rights.
IBAC also identified issues with gender diversity. More than 90 per cent of CIRT officers are men, which is not representative of Victoria Police's broader workforce or the Victorian community and can impact how CIRT is perceived by members of the community. The report makes recommendations to Victoria Police to manage these risks and promote integrity.