Tasmanian Police Minister David O’Byrne has put his Government behind a decision by Tasmania Police to continue the secrecy over the Tasmania Police Manual (TPM).

In response to an email from Tasmanians for Transparency, Minister O’Byrne in a letter dated 5 February 2104 has supported Tasmania Police’s refusal to make the Tasmania Police Manual publicly available online, as it was prior to 2012.

Tasmanians for Transparency were shocked that Police Minister O’Byrne has accepted the decision by Tasmania Police that the Tasmania Police Manual is now “deemed an internal document aimed at providing guidance and orders for Tas Police in their duties”.

It is unreasonable to expect any Tasmanian citizens who may have a misconduct complaint against any member of Tasmania Police to now be required to apply under Right to Information legislation, as Minister O’Byrne has suggested in his letter:

“That is not to say that some of the content of the Tasmania Police Manual is not discoverable via Right To Information Legislation.”

There is now clearly a need for the appointment of an Advocate for Police Complaints to assist citizens with any complaint they may need to make about misconduct in Tasmania Police.

Tasmanians for Transparency consider that this belated admission by the Police Minister, on behalf of Tasmania Police, confirms this Government’s lack of transparency, respect for civil liberties, and right to information by Tasmanian citizens.

Any citizen of Tasmania who has a complaint against the conduct of any employee of Tasmania Police, has a right to know what are the normal procedures and orders for Tasmania Police during their duties.

Tasmanians for Transparency are asking all candidates in the coming state election to support our call for the online publication of the Tasmania Police Manual and appointment of an Advocate for Police Complaints as a matter concerning transparency, respect for citizens rights and accountability of the conduct of Tasmania Police.