NSW Police would need “900 years” to solve unsolved deaths

Hate crime inquiry head judge John Sackar, Police Commissioner Karen Webb and Crispin Dye
Images (clockwise from left): ABC News, Supplied, NSW Police

The Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ Hate Crimes today heard that it would take 900 years for the NSW Police Force’s Unsolved Homicides Unit to deal with all of the unsolved deaths in the state if it continues to proceed with that work at its current pace.

The figure came from an internal police document that Counsel Assisting the Inquiry Peter Gray SC revealed today.

“One internal police document in recent years estimated that if the unsolved homicide team continued to review cases at its then current rate, it would take 900 years for existing cases to be reviewed,” Gray told today’s hearing.

“It is assumed that, when [a matter is referred to police, that] the coroner and relatives of a deceased person expect … the matter will be considered by the unsolved homicide team within a reasonable time, and not a period of time that can be measured in centuries.”

That figure refers to all of the unsolved deaths that have been referred to the Unsolved Homicides Units in the state of NSW and not just the suspected LGBTIQA+ hate crimes the special Inquiry is looking into.

The Inquiry’s Commissioner, Justice John Sackar, had been due to hand down his final report by August 30. However that deadline has been extended until December 15 due to the discovery of new forensic evidence during the Inquiry and police failing to produce documents in time.

NSW Police have also asked that 50 additional witnesses should be spoken to by the Inquiry before any report is made.

As of today less than half of those 50 witnesses have provided statements to the Inquiry.

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Andrew M Potts

Andrew has been covering LGBTQIA+ issues for a range of publications in Australia over two decades and was the Asia-Pacific correspondent for global LGBTQIA+ news website Gay Star News.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous
    5 October 2023

    When will this inquiry produce answers? Two days of hearing have now been devoted to evidence from Emma Alberici (!?) while some of the actual entire unsolved cases themselves have been open and shut at a hearing lasting half a day without advancing the picture at all. Seems like this inquiry has become muddled.

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