Police visit homes on secret watchlist without cause

Queanbeyan police will go to the homes of people on a secret NSW police watchlist without cause and will actively seek these people on the street.

NSW Police sources said the border town police would routinely doorknock persons on the Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP).

A specialist "proactive" unit - the Target Action Group - consisting of a handful of police will also drive around Queanbeyan for hours trying to find people on the plan.

NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller told state parliament on Thursday of the 1800 people on the STMP statewide, 1017 - or about 56 per cent - are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

"I believe in STMP and I believe in proactivity, but I am not proud of the incarceration rates of Aboriginal people in New South Wales and I am taking steps to improve that," Mr Fuller said. He said the youngest on the plan was nine years old.

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The plan has come under fire by the Youth Justice Coalition NSW in a report which showed it unfairly targeted young people and Indigenous people in ten NSW local area commands, excluding the one overseeing Queanbeyan.

Violent and non-violent offenders are placed on the plan which then uses an algorithm to predict their likelihood of reoffending in the future.

The behaviour reported of Queanbeyan police corroborates sections of the report.

The state's police watchdog have meet with the reports authors and were consulting with other community groups before considering their next steps.

One of the authors, Vicki Sentas from the Redfern Legal Centre Police Powers Clinic, said police already had all the powers they needed.

"The STMP doesn't give police any extra legal powers," Ms Sentas said.

"The public ought to expect police adhere to the law and act within the guidelines and parameters of the law. The public should not expect anything less than that because they've been categorised through a secret algorithm."

Ms Sentas is concerned by actively targeting young and Indigenous people they are being set up for cyclical encounters with NSW's criminal justice system.

There is no publicly available data about the plan in the Monaro Local Area Command, which oversees Queanbeyan.

At daily briefings, uniformed police are given a list of people on the plan, which is updated when new people are added to it.

The sources understood people had to be informed when they are placed on the list but the Youth Justice Coalition report suggested people cannot know if or why they are on it.

Queanbeyan police would stop and talk to anyone they see on the street who is on the list but the sources said they would not unlawfully search them.

NSW Police have said the plan undergoes "a quality assurance process" by senior officers.

"While deliberately engaged by police, STMP nominees are treated with respect and tolerance, but they are reminded that the community will not tolerate criminal behaviour," a NSW Police spokesperson said.

The state police watchdog, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, said they had meet with the Youth Justice Coalition to discuss the issues raised in their report.

"The report of the Youth Justice Coalition raises questions that may well justify the LECC's attention in the area of pre-emptive policing of at risk young people," an LECC spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman said anyone with further information about the practices raised by the police sources should submit it to the LECC so it could be dealt with appropriately.

This story Police visit homes on secret watchlist without cause first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.