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NSW police watchdog laws before parliament

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016 Sophie Tarr

A streamlined police watchdog would restore public confidence in oversight of the state's crime-fighters, the NSW police minister says.

Legislation is now before parliament to establish a new Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) that would replace the existing Police Integrity Commission, the Inspector of the Crime Commission and the police division of the Office of the Ombudsman.

"Police and the NSW Crime Commission have a lot of unprecedented powers and there's a community expectation they're being used appropriately and correctly at all times and police are held to a proper account," Police Minister Troy Grant said.

"How we do that currently is clunky, it's across a number of different oversight bodies. This is a consolidation of effort."

The LECC will investigate serious misconduct, corruption and will oversee complaints handling.

LECC officials will also be able to monitor critical incident investigations - internal NSW Police probes triggered after a death or serious injury, such as when a police pursuit ends in a fatality - "there and then".

"They can't go tramping through crime scenes or jeopardising the investigation in any way but they can have timely oversight on it rather than just getting the report down the track," Mr Grant said.

Greens MP David Shoebridge welcomed steps to establish a single oversight body but said the bill represented a missed opportunity.

"When it comes to critical incidents this oversight body will largely be reviewing internal police investigations, rather than doing the investigations themselves. We're repeating the mistakes of the past," he said.

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