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ACT Policing’s administrative framework for engagement with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community

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The guidelines should support ACT Policing to identify risks and issues affecting the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. ACT Policing's individual engagement with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in practice.

Community focused policing services model

ACT’s policing strategy

Diversionary program commitments

Commitments to justice targets for the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community

At least 25 per cent of all eligible 18-25 year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be referred to restorative justice by ACT Policing as a diversion from the formal criminal justice system.10. Under the ACT Drug Strategy Action Plan, ACT Policing has a responsibility to 'design and deliver a range of interventions using a range of models to meet the diverse needs of people involved or at risk of becoming involved in the justice system criminal. AFP Reconciliation Action Plan 2018–2020—with specific outcomes for ACT Policing to reduce arrests and increase the use of diversion programs for the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.14.

11 ACT Government, Reducing Recidivism Plan, https://justice.act.gov.au/justice-programs-and- initiatives/reducing-recidivism, . 14 AFP Reconciliation Action Plan 2018–20, https://www.afp.gov.au/sites/default/files/PDF/afp-reconciliation-action-plan.pdf. ACT Policing Purchase Agreement 2017–21– commitment to refer 100 percent of eligible youth to restorative justice and to refer 80 or more people to drug diversion programs.15.

ACT Policing Business Plan 2019–2020 outlines ACT Policing focus areas for the financial year 2019–2020, including performance measures and targets.16.

An overarching strategic plan

A DMINISTRATION OF C OMMUNITY P OLICING A CTIVITIES AND C OMPLEMENTARY P ROGRAMS

Community policing duties and diversionary programs

Strengthening policy and procedural guidance

In our view, the sustainability of ACT Policing's policy and procedural framework has the potential to significantly affect ACT Policing's ability to effectively carry out its community policing responsibilities. Critically, strengthening policies, processes and procedures will ensure that officers are properly supported to effectively administer the legislation and obligations in line with ACT Policing's diversion program commitments. Addressing the identified policy gaps will enable ACT Policing to provide assurance that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have access to diversion programs in all appropriate circumstances - that is, what members of the public who need have access to these programs actually do.

Policies and procedures should be reviewed regularly to ensure they are in line with legislation and policies and internally compliant. Any change in procedures between business areas should be appropriately tailored and supported by a clear rationale. We recommend that ACT Policing develop standard operating procedures for community policing activities and complementary programs to ensure that contact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members in the ACT complies with legislative requirements and appropriately facilitates access to diversion programs and community support.

Requesting demographic information from members of the public

Data analysis and program evaluation Performance data

C OMMUNITY E NGAGEMENT

As part of our investigation, we considered the administration and governance of ACT Policing's engagement with the community. Our specific findings in relation to ACT Policing's management of each of the above engagement initiatives are detailed in Volume Two of this report.

Improving ACT Policing’s approach to community engagement

The engagement principles set forth in the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body's Protocols for working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples emphasize the importance of government agencies being clear about purpose, objectives and outcomes when working with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Giving feedback to the community and following up on agreed action points with the community after consultation.18. In our view, the engagement strategy should also include a process for ACT Policing to publicly report on the results of engagement activities with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

This is vital for the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to have confidence that community engagement and consultation has been undertaken. In our view, ACT Policing would also benefit from developing a clear process for internal data sharing as part of an engagement and consultation strategy. We recommend that ACT Policing develops an engagement and consultation strategy to manage its relationship with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

18 ACT Aboriginal og Torres Strait Islander valgt organ, 'Protocols for working with aboriginal and/eller Torres Strait Islander people', september 2015.

Aboriginal Liaison Officers

I NTERNAL G OVERNANCE

These functions are common to most Australian government agencies that affect users of government services, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These support functions are essential to support ACT Policing's relationship with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The legitimacy of ACT Policing as a service delivery body is based on the trust that ACT Policing members are responsible and accountable for their actions and transparent in their dealings with the public.

Cultural awareness training

ACT Policing does not have a regular training schedule, but provides Cultural Connections training to ACT Policing members when operational requirements permit. ACT Policing has recommended that no records be kept of which ACT Policing members have completed Cultural Connections training. This limits ACT Policing's ability to provide assurance that members are adequately supported to manage interactions with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in a culturally capable manner.

ACT Policing advised that while the Cultural Links training is currently under review, it does not routinely assess or evaluate its cultural training courses to ensure that the content and delivery of the training is in line with best practice principles, or to reflect contemporary issues or risks relevant to the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community as they arise. In our view, ACT Policing would benefit from developing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural training strategy for the development, delivery and evaluation of cultural awareness training. ACT Policing may also wish to consider other state police forces' approaches to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural training, for example Western Australian Police Cultural Safety Audit 2018.26.

We recommend that ACT Policing develop a strategy to support the development, delivery and ongoing evaluation of cultural training.

Record keeping

The strategy should be based on best practices in cultural training and include regular and ongoing evaluation so that training is best placed to achieve intended outcomes and is responsive to current issues and emerging risks. During our investigation, we observed that ACT Policing at times found it difficult to locate and produce records relevant to its engagement with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. This suggests that where records exist, they are not readily available or searchable in ACT Policing's records management systems.

ACT Policing would benefit from improved data management so that data is created and stored on its systems in accordance with good record keeping practice. Developing a clear policy and procedure that sets out record retention requirements, including the creation, retention and destruction of data relating to engagement with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community will assist ACT Policing to ensure compliance with the retention of government-wide data. requirements, including guidance from the National Archives of Australia. We recommend that ACT Policing amend its data management policy and procedure to ensure that data related to engagement with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait community is created, stored and accessible to ACT Policing staff.

Complaints management framework

In 2019, we reviewed AFP and ACT Policing's complaint handling procedures as part of our Complaints Assurance Program (CAP). ACT Policing requires all members (including those involved in complaints handling) to undertake cultural liaison training. ACT Police support staff who work with complainants to work sensitively and effectively with people from different backgrounds and cultures, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander complainants.

It can also help the AFP and ACT Policing address some of the cultural barriers to filing complaints. All complaints to the AFP and ACT Policing are reviewed based on the information provided by the complainant. The AFP and ACT Policing do not currently collect information about a complainant's cultural or social identity for the purposes of complaint management, including whether someone identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

We recommend that the AFP and ACT Policing amend the current complaints handling guidelines to include calls for complaints handlers to request and record Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status during the complaints process.

As part of this portfolio, ACT Policing recently led the Policing Education, Diversion and Evidence Team, which will consist of evidence-based policing and research analysts. The third recommendation: we recommend ACT Policing tonsulrs with ACT Aboriginol and Torres Streit fs/ondEr camnu.,;icy, our Of/lcr c:ommun!tles to determine

ACT Policing notes the reconsideration of the concerns and limitations identified in response 10 recommendation three. As part of ttiis forn\al~at!on, WET Policing W!I Oevebp a high,feveJ str-aU:gy to manage our relations with Abol1glna1 and Torros StrJll 1$1Mderoommunitions. Reccmmemiatl

Reccnunendotion Seven: Vie recommends ACT Policing develop a strategy to svpp, or de.ielopmenr, not much increasing evallWiion of cfturol training. The strategy should be based on best practices in cu/turaf cralnlng OtJd Include reg1Jlat ond evulu> that training is best oriented to achieve intended results and is responsive to current problems and emerging risks.

References

Related documents

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