The LECC has revealed significant issues with New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF)’s current approach to conducting critical incident investigations. The 2023 review, which assessed ‘Five Years of Independent Monitoring of NSW Police Force Critical Incident Investigations, found that current processes are overly lengthy and provide little opportunity to quickly improve identified issues.

Josh Pallas: "Given what happened with Clare Nowland, we think that it’s really made it quite clear that critical incidents shouldn’t be conducted by police – those investigations – they should just go to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) directly, and we’re fortified in that conclusion by what the recent LECC report is saying."

"When the LECC does supervise investigations, they have currently limited access to interviews and the investigations as a whole – so we don’t have confidence in current internal police investigations."

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Calls are growing for a parliamentary inquiry into use of force by New South Wales police, with justice experts saying too much focus is being placed on the actions of individual police officers rather than the “festering” systemic problem.

“It’s about time we had some accountability from high up rather than those who are part of what’s happening on the ground," Samantha Lee of the Redfern Legal Centre said. 

Josh Pallas, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said what connects these cases is a poor culture around the use of force, and a parliamentary inquiry is necessary to root out the problems.

Law Society of NSW

Better and more extensive training to enable the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) to better deal with incidents involving people with mental health issues will help protect some of the community’s most vulnerable citizens.

President of the Law Society of NSW Cassandra Banks said the report released by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) late yesterday contains common sense recommendations that, if implemented, will improve community safety and could potentially save lives.

In 2008, great-grandmother Clare Nowland was filmed for a feel-good segment by the ABC when she decided to go skydiving for her 80th birthday. 

This week, the now 95 year old has made headlines for a different and incredibly disturbing reason, after she was allegedly Tasered by police in an incident at her nursing home. This occured after police were called to Cooma's Yallambee Lodge after Ms Nowland, who has dementia, was found holding a steak knife

It was reported that when police tried to negotiate with Nowland, she refused to drop the knife all while approaching police "slowly" with her walking frame.