Public Hearing 2: commencing 5 December 2022

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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.
  • Sergeant Geoffrey Steer – former Bias/Hate Crime Co-ordinator, Bias Crime Unit.
  • Shobha Sharma – Manager, Policy and Programs Team, Crime Prevention Command.
  • Sergeant Ismail Kirgiz – current Hate Crime Co-ordinator, Engagement and Hate Crime Unit.
  • Former Deputy Commissioner Michael Willing – Commander, Homicide Squad. 
  • Detective Sergeant Steve Morgan – Investigation Supervisor, Strike Force Neiwand.
  • Former Detective Sergeant Stephen Page – Officer in charge, Operation Taradale.
  • Dr Derek Dalton – Member of the Flinders University academic review team.
  • Professor Willem de Lint – Member of the Flinders University academic review team.
  • Professor Nicole Asquith – Professor of Policing and Emergency Management, University of Tasmania.
  • Associate Professor Austin Lovegrove – Honorary Principal Fellow, University of Melbourne Law School.
  • Martha Coakley – Former Attorney General of Massachusetts.

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

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.


Written Submissions and Statements

Statements and Expert Reports

A number of written statements and expert reports have been tendered into evidence as part of Exhibit 6. To assist the media and public with quickly locating these documents, they have been linked below. A copy of these documents can also be located under the “Exhibit 6” heading.