Two days ago, Police Minister Anne Tolley referred the Roast Busters case to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

But it could be months until it is determined whether police botched the handling of the case or, as they maintain, conducted a thorough and appropriate inquiry.

Yesterday, the IPCA was unable to say much about the case, but confirmed its investigation was already in full swing.

"We are currently in the process of gathering information and assessing the information we have and we are unable to comment on time frames or specific details of the case until we have more information on this case," said spokeswoman Stacey Smith.


"The IPCA will consider, in the normal way, the issues involved in this case."

According to the IPCA website investigators reviewing a complaint consider whether there has been any misconduct, neglect of duty - including failure to investigate, prosecute or respond to a crime - or breach of the police code of conduct by officers involved in the case.

The processes of IPCA investigations are explained on the website.

"Some complaints are resolved within days or weeks; others that are serious and require investigation can take many months, or longer. The time taken can depend on matters outside our control, such as court cases."

If the IPCA finds fault with the police, it might make recommendations as to how the organisation can improve practices or prevent similar incidents.