We would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region and pay our respects to Elders past and present.
Today, the Commonwealth and ACT Ombudsman, Michael Manthorpe PSM, released a report of his investigation into ACT Policing's framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement. The Ombudsman looked at whether the programs, policies, procedures and training ACT Policing has in place to manage its engagement with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community are appropriate and well administered.
'My Office undertook this investigation informed by complaints from members of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and against a backdrop of ongoing over-representation of community members in the justice system; Mr Manthorpe said.
The report makes nine recommendations aimed at improving ACT Policing's administrative and governance processes. It explicitly calls for meaningful consultation with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in relation to the design, delivery and evaluation of community policing and engagement activities, as part of the implementation of the recommendations.
'I am pleased that ACT Policing and the Australian Federal Police have agreed to take action, in close consultation with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, in relation to each of the recommendations,' Mr Manthorpe said.
'Implementation of these recommendations will assist ACT Policing to develop a solid administrative foundation that supports its commitment to working with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to build and maintain mutually beneficial and respectful relationships.'
The report is presented in two volumes. Volume One presents the Ombudsman's high-level findings and recommendations, and includes ACT Policing's response. Volumes Two examines ACT Policing's community policing activities and community engagement initiatives in greater detail and provides suggestions for improvement.