The Police are one of the few state agencies with intrusive powers.
Independent oversight matters to a community even in a country such as New Zealand where the Police are committed to high standards of conduct. It provides independent assurance that questions of misconduct and neglect of duty are properly dealt with.
The cost of failure in Police culture was illustrated by the allegations of sexual misconduct that led to the 2007 Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. The Commission of Inquiry cost $4.8 million – well in excess of the Authority’s annual budget – while the costs of Police investigation and prosecution together have been estimated at almost $14 million.