The long-awaited report from a Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes in NSW has made 19 recommendations.
The more than 3500-page final report contains seven recommendations relating to specific cases, as well as 12 recommendations relating to investigative and record management practices and procedures, including:
- Establishment of a review or audit by NSW Police of all unsolved homicides for the period 1970 to 2010, including review of exhibits and those that should be submitted for forensic testing in light of possible technological advances.
- Several recommendations relating to the enhancement of the Unsolved Homicide Team (UHT) including a review of practices, procedures and resourcing of the UHT, and provision of training.
- Implementation of mandatory and ongoing training for NSW Police officers concerning the LGBTIQ community, including in relation to LGBTIQ bias crime, conscious and unconscious bias in investigations, and the engagement of appropriately qualified experts to ensure international best practice in NSW.
In particular, the Inquiry looked into the 88 deaths or suspected deaths of men potentially motivated by gay hate bias that were investigated by Strike Force Parrabell.
In a series of public hearings, the deaths of 32 people were examined in detail.
The Inquiry also looked at social, legal and cultural factors affecting the LGBTIQ community, as well as the nature of the relationship between the LGBTIQ community and the NSW Police Force over the 40-year period.
In the course of its work, the Inquiry examined more than 150,000 documents, issued more than 400 summonses, made public appeals for information, and held public and private hearings.
“The comprehensive work undertaken by the Inquiry has shone a light on some of the darkest events in our state’s history,” NSW Attorney-General Michael Daley said.
“I know many members of our community have been deeply impacted by the events examined by the Inquiry and the reopening of wounds that has been a difficult but necessary part of this process.”
“We hope that in a small way, this process will have provided some level of closure and healing.”
“Our work here is far from over and our focus now shifts to ensuring we deliver a meaningful and decisive response., We owe nothing less to victims, their families and friends.”
“I thank all of those who came forward with information or otherwise assisted the Inquiry – for your contributions and staunch advocacy for partners, family members, friends and community,” NSW Premier Chris Minns said.
“It takes courage to relive the traumatic experiences you have shared as partners, family and friends who have lost loved ones, and as a community that has suffered unimaginable injustice.”
“Thank you also to Commissioner Sackar and the entire Inquiry team for your tireless work in pursuing justice for the victims of these crimes.”
Premier Chris Minns said the NSW government “will now take the time required to thoroughly consider the Commission’s report.”
If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.
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