The Corruption and Crime Commission has today tabled in State Parliament a report detailing improvements to Aboriginal cultural awareness in the WA Police Force.
In 2015, the Commission’s investigation into the unlawful killing of Mr Joshua Warneke exposed systemic issues regarding the investigative policies and the manner in which Police interacted with indigenous people. Part of the Commission’s role is to monitor an agency’s response to recommendations it makes to assist in mitigating the risk of serious misconduct and corruption.
The Commission is pleased to report further on the practical and positive response of the WA Police Force following recommendations in its November 2015 report.
Within a year, WA Police Force had implemented five of the seven recommendations for improvements to interviewing practices, the understanding and implementation of the Criminal Investigation Act 2006 and the Police Manual.
The WA Police Force has continued to address the issues identified by the investigation, and taken a wider approach to transforming the relationship between police officers and the Aboriginal community.
Though there are still challenges to be addressed, recent steps to improve Aboriginal cultural awareness across the agency include:
• establishing an Aboriginal Affairs Division to assist with identifying and driving ongoing cultural change as required; and
• delivering contemporary training to recruits and existing Police staff on Aboriginal culture and issues affecting Aboriginal communities.
The Commission also tabled a second report in Parliament today that provides details of a methodical and committed approach taken by the Department of Transport to reduce the serious misconduct and corruption risks detailed in three Commission reports relating to driver licence applications, vehicle examination contractors and truck driving licence applications.
The Department of Transport has now considered all eight recommendations originally made by the Commission between December 2016 and November 2017.
The most recent improvements include a tightening of the Practical Driving Assessment (PDA) booking processes and the introduction of a new software tool for assessors directly employed by the Department of Transport.
Amendments are also expected to be put before Parliament in the first half of 2020 which will see a licence (issued under foreign law) become invalid 12 months after the holder’s arrival into Australia.
The Commission commended the assistance provided by both agencies during these reviews, and their ongoing work in addressing serious misconduct and corruption risks.