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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Officer had a conflict of interest and breached complainant's privacy

In December 2017, Mr X and Mr Y were involved in an altercation following a traffic incident. Mr Y laid a complaint against Mr X later that day.

Police spoke to Mr X about the complaint in January 2018. Mr X stated that shortly after the incident he spoke to his friend, Officer A, about the incident while at their social club. Officer A was off-duty at the time.

Mr X said he provided Mr Y's vehicle registration details to Officer A who looked them up on his Police cell phone. Officer A then showed him Mr Y's photograph and made adverse comments about Mr Y's criminal history.

Police conducted an employment investigation into Officer A's actions

Officer A accepted that he knew Mr X socially and had showed him Mr Y's photograph during the discussion at their social club. He said he did this to help Mr X confirm Mr Y's identity to enable Mr X to make a complaint about Mr Y.

Officer A denied making any specific comments about Mr Y's criminal history. Police accepted it was unlikely Officer A would have disclosed a traffic matter which occurred more than 35 years ago.

The employment investigation found that:

• Officer A had a conflict of interest and should not have involved himself in the matter.

• Officer A should not have shown Mr X Mr Y's photograph. This breached Mr Y's privacy and was an unauthorised use of the Police database.

Officer A was found to have made an error of judgment and Police took appropriate action.

The Authority reviewed the Police investigation and agreed with the outcomes.

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