Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

Conciliation Resolving Community Complaints


Table of Contents

What is Conciliation?

Conciliation is a simple and flexible method of dealing with certain types of complaints. The NSW Police Force has in place such a system for handling certain complaints by members of the public. Complaints might include: rudeness, failure to provide a service, unreasonable treatment or correct procedures not being followed.


Why do we Use It?

Conciliation saves all parties time and anguish and leads to early resolution of these types of minor complaints. A crucial element of the conciliation process is that it provides a valuable opportunity for dealing with minor complaints. The process is not designed to establish fault


Who is involved in the Conciliation Process?

You as a complainant –

Any member of the public who believes they have been treated unfairly, or in an inappropriate manner, by police in the course of their duties.

The Officer/s

The police officer/s whose alleged actions or inactions in the course of their duties have been the subject of complaint .

Authorised Conciliating Officer –

A supervisor or commissioned officer accredited and authorised to carry out this process.


When is Complaint Conciliated?

When an appropriate complaint is reported to police by letter, telephone or personal contact and you, as complainant agree to the matter being resolved in this way. Then an Authorised Conciliating Officer is appointed to deal with the complaint. The actual process might take several days.


How is the Complaint Conciliated?

Details of the complaint are obtained and agreement is sought from you to deal with it by way of conciliation. The officer is advised of the complaint and asked for their version of the event.

After due consideration of the facts, the Authorised Conciliating Officer will provide one of several possible outcomes. You, as a complainant must agree to that outcome.


If you are not satisfied can you take the Matter Further?

The New South Wales Ombudsman performs an audit role concerning complaints against police. The Ombudsman is informed of all matters dealt with by way of conciliation. If you want the Ombudsman to review your complaint, inform the Authorised Conciliating Officer who will indicate this on the Complaint Conciliation Form. The Ombudsman will then contact you directly with the review’s outcome.


Who can you Contact for More information about the Conciliation Process?

  • The Police Force Customer Assistance Unit can assist with any questions you have concerning the conciliation process on 1800 622 571.
  • TTY (02) 9211 3776 for the deaf and hearing impaired.
  • The NSW Ombudsman’s Office 580 George Street, Sydney (02) 9286 1000

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