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Tasmania Police complaints analysed

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016

Tasmania Police dismissed all but one of more than 100 complaints about officers using excessive force in 2015, an Integrity Commission report shows.

The commission on Thursday released its fourth annual audit of how the Tassie force handles complaints and the results were generally positive, showing the process is adequate and professional and improving.

The audit looked at 123 complaints, 108 of which claimed officers used excessive force, ranging from handcuffs being too tight, to cases of serious "hands on" assault.

"The majority of excessive force allegations ... were of 'hands on' force and did not allege that equipment (such as a baton) was used to exert force," the report read.

"A small number of allegations were of excessive force through misuse of handcuffs.

"There was also one allegation of excessive force involving a firearm - this was the single sustained allegation of excessive force."

In-house findings showed 38 of the allegations were unfounded, 32 were proven but the force was justified and legal, 28 were not sustained, five were withdrawn, four dismissed and one was sustained.

"While we did not address whether the findings of Tasmania Police were justified. The analysis undertaken as part of the audit has helped to identify particular risk areas in relation to the use of force and this will assist Tasmania Police to identify training and resource needs," commission chief Michael Easton said.

Front-line officers were most likely to be accused of excessive force and male officers aged 35 to 39 years who have been in the job between five and nine years were found to be over-represented in the statistics.

Of the matters finalised in 2015 there were complaints sustained against two officers - one resigned and one was sacked.

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