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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Custody officer charged with a drug offence

On 1 April 2018 the Police helicopter, Eagle, was flying over Henderson when it spotted a suspicious vehicle. As the pilot flew lower to obtain the vehicle's registration, Eagle staff observed the driver and a passenger swap seats and drive away.

Shortly after, Police officers on the ground stopped the car. They identified the driver as a Police custody officer who was also a Police recruit applicant. Three passengers were in the vehicle, one of whom faced charges for drug possession and supply arising from an earlier occasion.

Police searched the vehicle and found a small amount of methamphetamine, four bags of cannabis and a bong. Cannabis had also recently been consumed in the car.

The custody officer initially denied knowing the person charged with the earlier drug offending. Police found messages from that person on the custody officer's phone, together with references to buying and taking drugs.

The custody officer was stood down and Police conducted a criminal investigation.

Police established that the custody officer had agreed to drive the passengers in the vehicle to a location for the purpose of buying cannabis. Police charged the custody officer with permitting his vehicle to be used for the commission of a drug offence.

The custody officer pleaded guilty to the charge and tendered his resignation to Police.

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

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