Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission and Its Role in Fighting Corruption in Victoria Police

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Victorian police have immense discretionary powers and are considered the most authoritative agents of social control in Australia. With the most dominant power comes great responsibility towards a proper performance for the safety and duty for the community. Police accountability must be reviewed when the understanding of issues is raised in society due to police powers being abused. Issues connected can entail ethics and integrity, ensuring police actions are steered by a professional code of conduct.

To ensure a steady and dependable police force is achieved and that high principles of action occur the result must be conducted by all police officers in Victoria. When such behavior is neglected in Victoria, the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) is at the helm of disclosing police misconduct and public sector corruption. This essay will discourse the representation of IBAC as a check and balance on police powers in Victoria. The advantages and drawbacks of IBAC managing complaints against police and the overall influence and impact IBAC have on community reliance and expectation.

The Role of the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission as a ‘Check and Balance’ of Police Powers

The concept to an equal and unprejudiced government ensures functional and appropriate measures are in place for the greatest outcome. When such influence and capability is wrongly established a check and balance on police powers are uncovered. When police corruption and any sought of serious misconduct occurs, it should be made to be detected, investigated and prevented for future incidents.

IBAC is Victoria’s anti-corruption agency that receives complaints and notifications of public sector corruption and police misconduct. IBAC assures that it investigates and exposes serious corruption and police misconduct, informs the public sector, police and the community about risks and impacts of corruption and police misconduct, and ways it can be prevented. IBAC claims that over the next three years they endure and deemed some strategic goals that can improve IBAC as a check and balance for Victoria’s police. The goals include investigating and exposing corrupt conduct and police misconduct, preventing and informing, building an organization and ensuring accountability and independence. Through the use of such strategies individuals that have been condoned to such unjust actions from authoritative members are able to achieve a well-deserved outcome and that matters are brought to some justice.

When investigations come to a complete, IBAC decides whether or not corruption has occurred. If there is evidence of corruption or police misconduct IBAC can only do so much in bringing justice to the victim involved in such cowardly acts. After investigation, IBAC may bring criminal proceedings for an offence relating to any matter arising out of the investigation, refer any matter under investigation to the Office of Public Prosecutions, make recommendations about matters arising out of the investigation to the relevant principal officer of a body, the responsible minister, or the premier, and request a response and publish public reports and produce key risk and prevention resources. IBAC’s role in investigating and exposing Victoria’s police officers and empowering a check and balance occurs on police functions may improve only through regular and expanded repercussions of such violation to the community.

The Way in Which the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission Deal with Complaints Against Victorian Police

For adequate and ethical police accountability and regulation to be uncovered it should be done with correct measures. IBAC allows anyone to make complaints or provide any details on the public sector corruption and police misconduct in Victoria. Reporting corruption to IBAC exposes corrupt activities and risks that may otherwise remain hidden, provide assurances that dishonest practices are disrupted and stopped, ensure that public sector employees act in the public interest and identify corruption trends, issues and potential risks.

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If individuals in the community believe they have been a victim of any sought of public sector corruption they are able to make complaints to IBAC that must be done through an online form. Services are provided and extend to individuals who are deaf, hearing or speech impaired and those who rely on an interpreter or translation if needed. This allowed the extension to the wider community, therefore, permitting the more vulnerable to have any unfair actions dealt with through IBAC. Not only does IBAC receive complaints from the public but can receive corruption from agencies around Victoria this including Victoria Police.

In 2015, during the month of March, IBAC received CCTV footage from Victoria Police displaying the alleged mistreatment of women in custody whilst in cells of the Ballarat Police Station. The footage was from January 2015, of a woman who had been arrested for public drunkenness, later to be discovered she was a serving police officers but was on leave for medical reasons. With this allegation and the seriousness of this incident, IBAC commenced Operation Ross. The incident includes the excessive use of force against other individuals at the Ballarat Police Station. The CCTV footage of the former police officer named Yvonne Berry can be seen being kicked and stood-on by officers, as she laid face down and half-naked on the floor of a cell. In Ballarat, a public inquiry was held earlier to determine if excessive force was used and if any human rights were violated. In a report tabled to the Victorian Parliament, IBAC acknowledged front-line policing was extremely challenging but ultimately made damning findings against the force's Ballarat branch. The IBAC report recommended Victoria Police consider whether charges should be brought against the officers involved. The anti-corruption watchdog found the complaints were evidence of 'systemic' issues at the Ballarat police station, including the excessive use of force and questionable treatment of vulnerable people.

Overall Impacts and Issues Surrounded by the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission

When dealing with corruption and the misuse of leadership abilities, IBAC can demonstrate both aspects of positive and negative influence. IBAC can prosecute certain offences or refer matters to the Office of Public Prosecutions. However, they cannot decide if a person is innocent or guilty and determine entitlements and liabilities. If there are no findings of corruption or police misconduct IBAC will recommend preventative action where systemic issues and organizational corruption risks are identified (6-same as another one). This can have an impact on the community coming forward with any corruption as they may feel as nothing will be done.

Through police officers’ wrongdoings, it can lead and impact many other society backlashes. When corruption occurs in Victorian communities the ramifications are major impacting almost everyone. Corruption can result in loss of goods and services, wasted taxpayer funds and overall lower community safety, confidence and acceptance of public authorities.

When looking at IBAC which entails Victoria’s investigation into police corruption and misuse of powers. With this comparison to the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which aims to not only protect but to prevent breaches of public trust and guide the conduct of public officials. ICAC has broader powers and may direct public inquiries, they have research to be able to identify in advance specific areas of any further corruption. ICAC also works to advance and deems to acknowledge to minimize corruption through good repute of public administration by providing advice, information, resources and training to public sector organizations to potential heal corruption problems. This acknowledges the communities understanding of police powers abused and improving societies knowingness. Whereas IBAC forces on only engagement, reporting and alerting to prevent corruption.

In incidents where IBAC could not aid and advocate police brutality due to problems and incidents according to insufficient evidence that was outside of IBACs finding of a case. Which was present in Nassir Bare’s allegations of police misconduct. In 2009 the Ethiopian male migrant said during his arrest he was racially profiled and brutally kicked at his legs from under him, had his head pushed into the ground numerous times and was sprayed with capsicum foam in Williamstown. Mr. Bare told the court he was pulled over in his car by police officers and alleged that the officers made the racial comment of “You, black people, think you can come to this country and steal cars”. The matter was inspected by Victoria’s anti-corruption watchdog after Mr. Bare won the appeal against the Supreme Court’s conclusion that ruled out the former Office of Police Integrity (OPI) was not required to involved to follow up the complaint. Through investigation, IBAC found that Mr. Bare’s accusations were unsubstantiated. This due to the delay of six years between the occurrence and the research, causing a range of unnecessary issues for the investigation to be continued at.


Victoria’s law enforcement is the frontline to ensure the safety of the community. When these aspects of power are misused and mistreated towards any individual, Victoria’s anti-corruption watchdog can investigate. Being able to understand both the good and bad aspects of IBAC allows for further development and knowledge for any future incidents. IBAC’s role in providing closure and justice to those who have been a victim of police brutality can be shown at the Ballarat Police Station. This unfair act of multiple women complaining of mistreatment whilst in custody acknowledges that not only Australia, but Victoria as a state has a few unseen cracks in the justice system and individuals with authoritative powers are the ones to blame. However, when mistreatment occurs, IBAC can also further develop. This could be providing both the victim and the general public to a deeper understanding of the situation through such things as supplying training and further resources for those that condone corruption for the Victorian police force.

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Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission and Its Role in Fighting Corruption in Victoria Police. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from
“Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission and Its Role in Fighting Corruption in Victoria Police.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023,
Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission and Its Role in Fighting Corruption in Victoria Police. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 May 2024].
Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission and Its Role in Fighting Corruption in Victoria Police [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Jan 31 [cited 2024 May 20]. Available from:

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