Understanding the letter about the decision
At the conclusion of the investigation you A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. receive a letter stating the outcome of the investigation. The letter usually includes little information about why the decision was made. In the letter, one of the terms in the table below will be used to describe the outcome of the investigation.
|Substantiated||The Material presented to a court to prove or disprove a fact. It can include what witnesses say as well as documents and other objects. supports the complaint; therefore, the complaint is considered to be true.|
|Not substantiated||The evidence supports the police officer’s version of events.|
|Unable to determine||The investigator is unable to determine whether or not the complaint is true based on the available evidence.|
|Not proceeded with||The A person who begins a criminal prosecution against another in the Magistrates’ Court, or formally starts an action in a court or tribunal or makes a complaint to a complaint-handling body. In a civil action they could also be referred to as a plaintiff or an applicant. was unwilling to supply information but has not withdrawn the complaint.|
|Withdrawn||The complainant withdrew the complaint.|
|No complaint (sanctioned by law)||The conduct complained about is permitted by law.|
|No complaint (denied by Claimed but not proved. For example, the police can allege in court that a car was stolen, but they then have to prove it with evidence. If you say a person did something illegal you are making an allegation. Unless you can back it up, you will not be able to win a court case about it. victim)||A third A person or organisation directly involved in a court case. Parties include the plaintiff or applicant, the defendant, and any third party added to the action, but not independent witnesses. lodged the complaint and the victim denies the allegation.|
|Unfounded||The available evidence establishes there is no ground for the complaint.|
|Exonerated||The available evidence establishes that the police officer was not involved or is completely free from blame.|
|Lesser deficiency||A fault or issue has come to the investigator’s attention but was not part of the original complaint (e.g. incomplete paperwork).|
|False report||There is evidence that the complainant made a false report.|
If your complaint is substantiated – or if the investigation uncovers matters not raised by the complainant that indicate impropriety on the part of the police officer – the police decide whether or not to discipline, caution or A lawyer who appears in court and speaks on behalf of their client, often a barrister. the police officer.
Getting more information about the investigation
If your initial complaint was lodged with the PSC (and not IBAC), you can access documents about the investigation of your complaint through the The right of any person to access documents held by government agencies, except documents excluded by legislation. process (see ‘Where to complain: Misconduct complaints’, above, for an explanation about why you may not get access to documents if your initial complaint was made to IBAC). The freedom of information process is outlined in Chapter 12.5: Freedom of information law, and in ‘Supporting your complaint with freedom of information documents’, above. In your freedom of information application, ask for copies of all documents relating to the initial incident, and for a copy of the PSC file about your complaint.
Review of the decision
If you are unhappy with a decision made by the PSC, you can ask IBAC to review the decision. If you are unhappy with a decision made by IBAC, you can request an internal review of the decision. An IBAC officer who is independent of the original decision-maker will conduct the internal review.