The Police Complaints Authority had been established in 1989, following several years of debate about Police accountability, sparked in part by the role of Police during the 1981 Springbok Tour. Prior to 1989, complaints against the Police were investigated internally.
Through most of its life, the Police Complaints Authority comprised a single person with a small number of support staff conducting reviews of Police investigations.
Because of its reliance on Police investigations, the Authority was perceived as lacking independence. Recent changes, including the appointment of independent investigators, are addressing that perception.
Key milestones in the history of the Police Complaints Authority include:
The period since the establishment of the Independent Police Conduct Authority in November 2007 has been one of transformation, as the Authority shifts its focus towards independent and transparent investigation of the most serious incidents and complaints.
This period of change has included the appointment of additional investigators, and changes to the Authority’s legislation, structure and operations.