Spike in complaints against Victoria Police revealed
Victoria Police faced an escalating number of complaints in 2022, with the body overseeing the force receiving 14 per cent more than during the previous year.
The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) received more than 1900 complaints against Victoria Police last year, representing almost 70 per cent of its total complaints intake.
The watchdog completed 18 police-related preliminary inquiries and investigations, and started 11 more in 2022.
Among its finalised investigations was an inquiry into a Victoria Police officer accused of fabricating evidence in drug and alcohol testing of three drivers.
The commission found the allegations proved and identified deficiencies in Victoria Police's internal investigation.
It made recommendations to the force to improve its systems, policies and procedures.
Another investigation involved allegations of excessive force by three Victoria Police officers in the same area.
The watchdog substantiated one of the allegations, and found the force's internal investigation into the matter was inadequate. It again made recommendations to Victoria Police.
The commission held six days of public hearings for Operation Bredbo, which centred around allegations of misconduct by a long-standing Victoria Police officer.
It also reviewed more than 240 internal police investigations to ensure they were thorough, fair and that the findings were evidence-based.
Deputy Commissioner Kylie Kilgour said that represented a 68 per cent increase from 2021.
She said the data from the commission's annual police oversight snapshot showed its work to oversee, investigate and expose police corruption and misconduct in Victoria was increasing.
Victoria Police notified the commission about serious incidents more than 260 times in 2022.
The watchdog made 90 new recommendations for Victoria Police and the force implemented 36 previous ones, including by changing their conflict of interest policy.
The force also committed to adopting all the recommendations from a report about their handling of complaints made by Aboriginal people.
The commission recommended Victoria Police address concerns about how officers engaged with Aboriginal children and young people during arrest, interviews and management in custody, among other measures.
"IBAC recognises we could not achieve much of this work without the co-operation of the community and Victoria Police employees, who alert us to misconduct or corruption," Ms Kilgour said.
The commission ran 45 educational sessions for Victoria Police in 2022 and a regional campaign to increase awareness about its role as the state's police oversight body.
Victoria Police declined to comment.