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Investigating a complaint

Internal Investigation Section (IIS)

Except in special circumstances of alleged corruption and very serious conduct, complaints are investigated by the Internal Investigation Section, a team of experienced police officers [Police Complaints and Discipline Act 2016 (SA) s 5]. The investigator will usually wish to speak to the complainant, the officer, cadet, or special constable, involved and anyone else able to help with the investigation.

In certain cases such as a where there are allegations of corruption or very serious conduct, the OPI may determine that a complaint should be investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption ICAC [s 29]. ICAC may also decide to investigate any complaint or report on its own initiative [s 30(2)].

Cooperating with investigations

It is an offence to knowingly make false or misleading statements in information provided under the Act is an offence [s 42(a)].

Maximum penalty imprisonment for two years or $10 000 fine.

Monitoring of investigations

The OPI monitors the progress of all investigations and can direct the Commissioner of Police, the Internal Investigations Section, or the particular police officer investigating a complaint as it thinks fit [s 27]. The OPI can also reassess certain complaints and reports by the IIS and substitute the assessment. This has to be done within three business days of the IIS assessment and in consultation with the Officer in Charge of the IIS [see further s 28].


Investigations are carried out in strict confidence. However, if a Court, Tribunal, or Royal Commission calls for the information, then confidentiality may be breached [ss 44 - 46].

Investigating a complaint  :  Last Revised: Mon Sep 4th 2017
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.