What is Police Misconduct?

Misconduct is when a police officer acts outside of their powers or breaks the law.

If you’ve been a victim of police misconduct, you may be able to pursue recourse through a civil claim.

The following lists some common causes of action, and some examples of the misconduct claims that can be pursued:

Assault

  • Excessive use of OC spray (commonly referred to as “pepper spray” or “capsicum spray”)
  • Physical assault (hitting, kicking, pushing etc.)
  • Pointing of a gun
  • Spitting
  • Threat to harm

False imprisonment

  • Detention under circumstances that seem unlawful.
  • Custody when unnecessary; can be restrained in handcuffs or deprived of liberty.

Malicious prosecution

  • Charges must have resolved in the individual’s favour.
  • Charges struck out by Magistrate at the Committal stage.

Misfeasance in public office

  • Circumstances where police have intentionally engaged in an invalid or unauthorised act against an individual in the course of their duties.

Negligence

  • Where the person has suffered harm, or death, in police custody. (Read more about Coronial Inquests)

Outside of these circumstances we recommend contacting us for further advice.

FACT SHEET – Freedom of Information Applications to Victoria Police

A Freedom of Information (F0I) application is a request made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 1982, which gives people with a right of access to documents held by Australian Government ministers and most agencies.

FACT SHEET – Complaints Against Police

If you have been the subject of police misconduct, making a complaint may be the most appropriate course of action in your circumstances.

If you have suffered injury as a result of police misconduct, you may have a compensable claim through civil litigation. These claims involve suing the State of Victoria for compensation. Our team is specialised in these litigations, and we work with claimants to make sure their interests and rights are best represented.

We work with families and other interested parties on cases where a person has died in police or corrections custody, deaths whilst incarcerated in prison, and deaths where police officers have attempted to take a person into custody.

If you have suffered injury as a result of police misconduct, you may have a compensable claim through civil litigation. These claims involve suing the State of Victoria for compensation. Our team is specialised in these litigations, and we work with claimants to make sure their interests and rights are best represented.

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Jeremy King

Jeremy is a Principal Lawyer and lead of the police misconduct team. He practices in the area of police torts and and has been extensively involved in advocacy for reform of police oversight. Jeremy is regularly featured in the media for comment on police misconduct cases.

Danielle Meyer

Danielle is a Principal Lawyer and head of the personal injury team. Danielle has experience in police misconduct matters like assault and battery, false imprisonments, malicious prosecutions and misfeasance cases.

Ali Besiroglu

Ali represents families and interested parties with coronial inquiries, and has significant court advocacy experience. With a background in criminal law, he helps the team analyse and evaluate all the developments of criminal cases prior to civil proceedings.

Nick Boag

Nick graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2008 and also holds a Masters of Law from ANU and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. Nick first joined Robinson Gill in 2013 before working at the Police Accountability Project at the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre and then as a Judge’s Associate at the County Court of Victoria. Nick rejoined Robinson Gill in 2018 and specialises in Police Misconduct and other personal injury matters. Nick is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Administrative Law & Human Rights Committee.

Tieea Jaya

Tieea started her legal career in criminal defence, working as a Court lawyer for one of Melbourne’s leading criminal defence law firms. Tieea worked around the clock between the cells and the courtroom, appearing in both summary and indictable matters.

Rebecca Russell

Rebecca is a newly qualified lawyer at Robinson Gill Lawyers. She specialises in police misconduct claims as part of her personal injury practice.

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Box Hill

‘They never had the power to be police’: Defence lawyers scramble to identify cases [The Age]

Defence lawyers are scrambling to identify potentially thousands of cases involving Victorian police, who never had the power to act as officers, following an error that the government says will be fixed with retrospective legislation.

More than 1000 Victoria Police ‘working without authority’ due to ‘administrative’ bungle [9News]

More than 1000 police officers, Protective Services Officers (PSOs) and custody officers have been working in Victoria without proper authorisation for eight years, with urgent legislation needed to correct the "administrative error".

‘Starting to look a little reckless’: questions raised over 1,200 unauthorised Victorian police officers [The Guardian]

The revelation that more than 1,000 Victoria police officers have been working without proper authority for up to eight years is part of a “pattern” that raises serious concerns around police accountability, according to legal experts.

Victoria Police officers probed over a violent arrest in Epping [7News Australia]

Police won't be punished over the violent arrest of a father while he was suffering a mental health episode in Epping. Shocking footage showed officers stomping on the man's head and hitting him with their car.