Series VPRS 13960
Complaint Files (Police)
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1988 - cont
  Series in Custody 1988 - 2004
  Contents 1981 - 2005
Public Access: Closed
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1988 - 2004 Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman Victoria) VA 1037
2004 - cont Office of Police Integrity VA 4792
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1986 - 2004 Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman Victoria) VA 1037
2004 - 2013 Office of Police Integrity VA 4792
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Consult the consignment details for the name of the complainant in which you are interested.

  • Function / Content
    The position of Deputy Ombudsman (Police Complaints) was established in May 1988 and assumed the functions of the disbanded Police Complaints Authority (VA 2834). The functions included:
    - receipt and investigation of complaints made against members of the Police force as well as the Chief Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner,
    - oversight and monitoring of internal investigations, and
    - limited actual investigation.

    Victoria Police (VA 724) handled the majority of complaints made against them under the Police Regulation Act 1958 internally through its Ethical Standards Department (ESD). The Police Complaints Authority had conducted audits of particular types of complaints. The Deputy Ombudsman by comparison reviewed every internal investigations conducted by the ESD.

    The findings from ESD investigations were written up in a report. A copy of that report was sent to the complainant and to the Deputy Ombudsman for review. The reviews occurred prior to a final decision being made on the conclusions drawn by the investigation and before the complainant and police members complained of were advised of any decision. The case was closed if the Deputy Ombudsman was satisfied with the report. The complaint however was investigated further if either the Deputy Ombudsman or the complainant expressed dissatisfaction with the final report produced by the ESD.

    Other scenarios where a complaint may have been investigated by the Deputy Ombudsman included situations when the complaint was received directly by the Deputy Ombudsman from the public or referred from police and investigated by the Deputy Ombudsman from the outset. Another instance was when the Deputy Ombudsman took over an investigation from the police.

    This series consists of files that documented cases where the Deputy Ombudsman played an active role in investigating a complaint. The cases that were reviewed by the ESD and consequently found satisfactory by the Deputy Ombudsman were culled from this series as they are a duplicate copy of the permanent record maintained by the ESD of Victoria Police.

    The Office of Police Integrity (VA 4792) was established in 2004 and took over the functions that the Deputy Ombudsman (Police Complaints) performed.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Prior to the introduction of Proactive in 2000, Ombudsman Victoria police complaint files followed the file numbering system of the Victoria Police Ethical Standards Department and its predecessors. The file numbers were six digits in length. Zeros were added where necessary to a file number to ensure it was a six digits number. The last two digits of the number indicated the financial year in which the file was created. For instance ESD file number 1/1987 would become 000187. 186/1987 would be 018687.
    The file covers of pink and green indicated the origin of the complaint. Pink file covers indicated the complaint had originated at ESD and green, at Ombudsman Victoria. However, there were some variations to the numbering system. A distinct numbering system was used for some of the complaints which the Deputy Ombudsman (Police Complaints) had determined should be investigated by his office. These files were recorded with an X prefix and grouped according to year with the first such file for each year being 1, so that the first in the series for 1987 would be X 1/87. There was, additionally, a modification to the numbering system in 1998 due to the introduction of the ROCSID database at the Ethical Standards Department. This occurred as a result of active ESD files being renumbered when imported into ROCSID starting from file 1 of 1998. This created a situation where there were duplicate numbers for existing police complaint files at Omubdsman Victoria . For instance if ESD file 111/1998 was an active file at the introduction of ROCSID and was renumbered as 1/1998 on ROCSID, it would potentially have the same number as the previously closed 1/1998, being 000198 OV police complaint file. A decision was taken at OV to differentiate these renumbered files for active ESD files by changing the 98 suffix indicating year created to AA for active police complaint files for the year 1998. Thus, to differentiate a renumbered ESD file 1/1998 from 000198 it would become police complaint file 1AA.
    Police complaint files continued to follow the ESD file titling system until 2000 shortly after the introduction of Proactive, when a sequential numbering system was adopted.
    The distinction between the two numbering systems is blurred as a result of active files with a six digit number exported to Proactive in February 2000 and still active at the time of the change in the numbering system being 'renumbered' when closed to a sequential number.

    The gaps in the sequence reflect the culling of temporary files before transfer to Public Record Office Victoria.

    The numbering does not appear to be particularly consistent. Some files (in the P1 consignment) contained an alpha prefix or suffix but these characters were not captured in the consignment listings.

    The P1 consignment details name of complainants only. The P2 and the P3 consignments contain details name of complainants and brief description of the complaint.

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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1981 - 1997 Closed 122
P0002 1992 - 2000 Closed 54
P0003 1997 - 2005 Closed 88
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