The colonial masters imposed a police force amongst the Australians in the year 1834. The force was poorly received because most people thought they were inefficient and that they were performing duties which should be exclusive only to the military. Fifteen years later, an ordinance for the Police was passed and Police responsibilities and powers were laid out. Chain of command and powers of its members was clarified in the year 1861. This was closely followed by the Police Act of 1892. Some elements of this Act are still in force today. (Lewis, 1999)
During the 1970s and 60s, there were cases of people engaging in demonstrations from all parts of the world. (Australian Law Reform Commission, 1978) Most of these images became quite disturbing when they depicted police conducting themselves in an inappropriate manner. Similarly, within the country, there were some accusations against police with claims that some of them were engaging in corrupt acts. (Wood, 1997) This necessitated a sort of measure to correct these insufficiencies. However, one should not make the assumptions that the entire police force was corrupt at that time. There were a few cases that were tainting the image of the entire force.
One of the major efforts that were directed towards curbing these malpractices was through the formation of the Australian Law Reform Commission. It was formed in the year 1975. The Commission was supposed to deal with the latter mentioned cases as required by Federal Law. However, this commission was replaced by other bodies that were similar in function but different in name due to loss of power by the federal government. In 1982, there was the Police Integrity Commission. The purpose of this group was to ensure that there is equality in the enforcement of law within the country.