Public Hearing 2: commencing 5 December 2022

The Inquiry’s second public hearing will be directed mainly to various aspects of Strike Force Parrabell, as well as the ways in which the NSW Police have approached the issues relating to “bias crime”, or “hate crime”, over the years from 1970 to the present.

Section C of the Inquiry’s terms of reference requires the Commissioner to have regard to a number of reports, including the Final Report of Strike Force Parrabell of June 2018. The Inquiry has also identified Strike Force Neiwand and Strike Force Macnamir as other relevant investigations conducted by NSW Police into possible homicides against LGBTIQ people.

Further, in light of the Inquiry’s terms of reference, it is important for the Inquiry to have regard generally to the ways in which NSW Police have approached the matter of suspected “hate” or “bias” crimes, including the identification, investigation and recording of such crimes. 

This second hearing will be conducted in two stages, at the Chief Secretary’s Building, Level 2, 121 Macquarie Street, Sydney. The first stage will commence at 10am on 5 December 2022. The second stage will take place on dates to be fixed in February 2023. The hearing is open to the public and will be live streamed via the Inquiry’s website.

It is expected that the public hearing will include evidence relating to:

  1. Strike Force Parrabell and its Final Report, including the methodologies used by the Parrabell police officers on the one hand and the Flinders University academic team on the other hand;
  2. Strike Force Neiwand and Strike Force Macnamir, including the reasons for their establishment; and
  3. Changes in the approach of the NSW Police to the identification, investigation and recording of suspected “hate” or “bias” crimes, including the relevant history of the Bias Crime Unit (as variously named and configured over the years).

The Inquiry will hear from senior NSW Police officers involved in these matters, as well as the academics who reviewed the results of the Strike Force Parrabell police officers.

It is anticipated that the following witnesses will be called to give oral evidence in the December hearing:

  • Assistant Commissioner Anthony Crandell – Commander of Strike Force Parrabell and the former NSW Police Force Corporate Sponsor for Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Intersex.
  • Shobha Sharma – Manager, Policy and Programs Team, Crime Prevention Command.
  • Sergeant Geoffrey Steer – former Bias/Hate Crime Co-ordinator, Bias Crime Unit.
  • Sergeant Ismail Kirgiz – current Hate Crime Co-ordinator, Engagement and Hate Crime Unit.

Please note that the witness list is subject to change and additional witnesses may be added in due course.

It is anticipated that the witnesses at the second stage of this hearing, in early 2023, will include Detective Sergeant Steve Morgan, Investigation Supervisor for Strike Force Neiwand, and Professors Derek Dalton and Willem de Lint, members of the Flinders University academic review team.

The Honourable Justice John Sackar will preside at the hearing. Counsel Assisting the Inquiry will be Peter Gray SC, Claire Palmer and Meg O’Brien.

Any person or organisation with a direct and substantial interest in the subject matter of this hearing, as outlined in Practice Guideline 1, is able to make an application for authorisation to appear by 5pm on Monday, 28 November 2022.

Journalists wishing to cover the hearing should notify the Inquiry’s media team to ensure access to the media room and/or relevant information including schedules and transcripts.

All inquiries in relation to the hearing should be directed to contact@specialcommission.nsw.gov.au.

The schedule is subject to change and does not necessarily contain all activities, hearings and engagements that the Inquiry will undertake.

It will be updated as more information becomes available.

Video

Transcripts

Exhibits

Exhibit-1-Relevance-Application-by-NSWPF

Exhibit-6


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