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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (26 October) . . Page.. 2158 ..




Aboriginal Deaths in Custody - Implementation of Royal Commission Recommendations

MS FOLLETT: Asked the Chief Minister -

In relation to the Report Empowerment of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT, page 12, second paragraph, fourth sentence (the subject of an addendum to the Report) -

(1) Have the police completed amendment of their instructions and procedures to reflect the recommendations of the Report on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody; if not, when will this occur.

(2) Has the upgrading of the police cells to the standards outlined by the Royal Commission been completed; if not, when will this occur.

MRS CARNELL: The answer to Ms Follett's question is as follows -

(1) The Australian Federal Police has accepted the spirit of the recommendations of the Royal Commission and is committed to their implementation through liaison with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The majority of recommendations that had not previously been police practice have been adopted through revised instructions and procedures. Those yet to be completed are:

Recommendation 129 requires evaluation of the use of breath analysis equipment to test the blood alcohol levels at the time of reception of persons taken into custody. Action has been taken to discuss with the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service, the Aboriginal Legal Service and the Aboriginal/Police Liaison Committee the evaluation of a screening device.

Recommendations 130 and 166 concerning Ministerial approval for the transfer between police and corrective services of information about the physical or mental condition of an Aboriginal person which may create or increase the risks of death or injury to that person when in custody. Protocols have been established and agencies are finalising development of a Memorandum of Understanding for approval by Ministers.

Recommendation 240c requires that when a police caution is given to a juvenile other than in the presence of any person having care and responsibility for the juvenile, that person is to be notified in writing of the fact and details of the caution administered. The Australian Federal Police instruction has been amended to meet this requirement and will be promulgated upon completion of liaison with the local Aboriginal community.

(2) Yes.

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