Police independent oversight in Australia and New Zealand

Garth den Heyer, Alan Beckley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this article is to describe the system of independent oversight of policing organizations in Australia and New Zealand to discuss the effectiveness and accountability of those organizations. After defining what is meant by independent oversight and its importance to democratic policing systems, it covers the background and history of these bodies. Information was obtained from desk research examining publicly available documents such as annual reports and other published sources; also practitioners from independent oversight bodies were interviewed from four out of the possible nine organizations. Analysis of the information revealed a wide variety of scope, capability and functions within the bodies researched which indicated there was no commonality of constitution or investigation operating procedures although there was considerable development of the oversight function in the last fifty years. Many organizational developments were noted and the general movement towards cross-public sector integrity commissions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-143
Number of pages14
JournalPolice Practice and Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • complaints against police
  • corruption prevention
  • New Zealand
  • police accountability
  • police oversight

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