Justice is the concept of moral rightness that is based on equality, access and fairness. This means that the law is applied equally, understood by all people and does not have a particularly harsh effect on an individual. The NSW Police Force is a crucial part of the criminal justice system in NSW as they play an important role in achieving justice, by determining the innocence or guilt of an offender. They do so by conducting criminal investigations, gathering evidence, search and seizure and interrogation.
They aim to gather evidence lawfully, justly and in accordance with the rights of the victims, the accused and society. However, despite the effectiveness of the criminal investigation process, there are several flaws that prevent it from fulfilling its objective which is full means of justice.
Flaws such as in Part 9 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibility) Act 2002 (NSW) LEPRA is a short but complex piece of legislation which gives rise to a large number of potential admissibility issues, particularly in relation to records of interview.
The clear neglect of police powers is indicated in the R v FE  NSWSC 1692. The accused referred to as FE was a 15-year-old teenage girl who presented herself to the police in relation to the stabbing of Patrick Crowe at Paramatta Transport Interchange. The police failed to caution her right to silence twice and gave an interview to the police which formed the basis of her case and later led to her arrest. The police once again failed in following right protocol by selecting her mother as a support person who had limited grasp of English than one of FEs sisters who would have been a more effective choice.
This indicates misuse of the NSW Police Forces Code of Practice of CRIME (Custody, Rights, Investigation, Management and Evidence) as they failed in protecting the individuals rights.
Prior to the commencement of trial, a voire dire was conducted. Voire dire is a pre-trial procedure used to determine the admissibility of particular evidence. It occurs when one party challenges the admissibility of evidence the other party proposes to adduce. During which the accused was questioned by Detective Marino who was working part-time on the task force associated with the death of Crowe. He claimed that he had neither seen the media release, the media reports, nor the CCTV footage at the time he conducted the interview. Superintendent Redfern issued a media release which was shown on Channels Seven, Nine and Ten. He told Detective Marino about the release during the afternoon although the latter claimed he saw neither the release itself, nor any of the broadcasts. He was, however, aware that there had been a media release and media reports which had described the girls variously as persons the police were “still trying to find” and “still hunting. Trial by media can be argued in this case as they played a considerable role in influencing the decisions made by the police and the criminal trial process. Although social media is a way of modern life, its impact on the ideal of fair trial needs to be measured and approaches mitigating its impact on trials needs to be considered.
The application of the rule of law can also be considered in this case. It can be argued that since the accused was a young offender the police took advantage of her vulnerability. Under criminal law, a child is defined as a person less than 18 years of age. FE was a 15-year-old teenage girl at the time of the offence. Under the Young Offenders Act 1997 if a child admits the offence then the child is entitled to be given a caution. The police did not do so in fact she was told that she had to give an interview and so she thought that I had to do what the police had to say. Therefore the Crown came to the conclusion that the exercise of the right to silence ought to be respected and not undermined as it was in the present case, in the exception that its holder will be unaware of its parameters and will as a result be, dissuaded from continuing to insist upon it. JH v R  NSWC 192 is another case in which the police did not breached their powers. The police unlawfully arrested JH for failing to provide his ID in order to confirm whether it was JH or his brother who had a curfew imposed as a bail condition. The Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibility) Act 2002 (NSW) states that an arrest without a warrant must be reasonably necessary where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion. According to the Law and Justice Foundation 42% of young offenders were not fairly treated by the police. Therefore, it is vital police operate within their legislative powers to ensure the rule of law and there is no miscarriage of justice.
This shows that the criminal investigation process has been ineffective. The Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibility) Act does more than consolidate. There is simply no point in giving police more powers and allowing more interference with individual liberty if the new laws cannot be shown to be effective. However, in 2017-18 there were approximately 10000 cases of abuse of police powers reported in NSW according to the NSW Police Force annual report marking a decline on previous years. A code of conduct is signed by the police when they join the force, requiring them to uphold the law. There needs to be strict scrutiny and punishment of officers who disobey the code of conduct with wrong intentions. “Unlawful and/or criminal conduct by employees of the NSW Police Force is incompatible with that role and also likely to bring the NSW Police Force into disrepute,” the code of conduct states. To conclude a review of police powers needs to be undertaken as they reflect the views of those who believe effective law enforcement is of greater importance than the preservation and protection of individual rights.