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Guidelines for Members Under Investigation

These guidelines are intended to give you basic advice prior to being interviewed for criminal or disciplinary matters. It is not intended that the guidelines be comprehensive advice, or that they cover every possible situation.

Before you are interviewed, you should carefully consider your rights and make sure you contact the Association office to let them know when the interview is taking place and with who. It is imperative that before you participate in any interview you need to ascertain whether the allegations are criminal or disciplinary in nature.

CRIMINAL MATTERS

In a criminal record of interview, you have the right to remain silent. Before you abrogate that right, you should contact the Association as soon as you are able to and we will assist you with determining the best course of action for you.

Generally, you will be advised to maintain your right to silence to avoid the possibility of self-incrimination and you should indicate to the interviewer that you are declining to answer based on legal advice, if that is the case.

You may of course answer questions put to you where you believe you are able to refute allegations and/or explain your conduct as justified, authorised or excused, but before adopting this course, you should consult with a legal practitioner.

Don't answer questions simply to put your version. If there is prima facie evidence that you have committed an offence you may be charged. Answering questions that could incriminate you will not assist you. A Judge/Jury or Magistrate cannot draw an adverse inference against you for maintaining your right to silence.

If you are subject to a criminal investigation you should keep your own Counsel. Any matter discussed by you with your legal adviser is protected by privilege, however, general chats with others during which you admit certain matters or discuss the allegations are not. Where relevant those conversations may be used as evidence against you.

You should request to be supplied with a copy of any recordings or transcripts of the interview.

DISCIPLINARY MATTERS

As soon as you have received the phone call or email advising you of the date and time of directed interview you should immediately contact the Association for advice.

Under section 79A of the Police Administration Act you are not excused from answering any questions or providing any information in Police Disciplinary proceedings. There is no right to refuse to answer on the basis of self- incrimination in relation to a disciplinary charge and penalty. Failure to answer will probably result in disciplinary action.

You should ensure you request to be supplied with a copy of any recordings or ranscripts of the interview.

In addition to taking part in a directed interview, if you are served with any documentation purporting to be served in accordance with the Police Administration Act or other legislation you should seek advice from your Association before responding. There are usually strict time frames for a response to be provided so it is vital you contact us the day you are served so we can assist you moving forward.