Victoria Police pay out $42m in legal settlements over past five years

Victoria Police has paid out more than $42 million in civil settlements and legal costs over the past five years, with payouts for bad behaviour rising amid a significant drop in public satisfaction with the force.

The details – and number – of the cases remain secret, but the blowout in financial settlements has renewed calls for an independent police oversight body.

The settlements cover a suite of misconduct claims including unlawful searches, illegal arrests, false imprisonment, assault and harassment.

Kim Price from Arnold Thomas & Becker said it was critical Victoria Police was transparent about how much it spent settling civil litigation cases.

“There’s a significant public interest knowing what Victoria Police’s misconduct is costing the taxpayer,” Price said.

“It’s unnecessarily costly, often re-traumatising for the victims, and not conducted in a way a model litigant, such as Victoria Police, is obligated to do.”

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