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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Complaint of unlawful arrest results in change to communication process between Courts and Police

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a complaint about the arrest and detention of a man by Central District Police in June 2015.

Police arrested the man for breaching a Protection Order and one of his bail conditions. However the month prior to the incident, the Courts had discharged the Protection Order and removed the bail condition in question.

The man spent approximately 18 hours in Police and Court custody before appearing in Court where the error was acknowledged and the charges withdrawn. An additional charge of resisting Police during the arrest was withdrawn 5 days later.

The investigation found the Courts had failed to advise Police that the Protection Order and bail condition were no longer in force. At the time of this incident updates of this nature were communicated by fax and it was impossible to check whether/when information had been passed on.

As a result of this incident, the Courts now scan and email documents to the Police. This provides a searchable record of who sent the information and when.

Other allegations made by the man regarding excessive force and other treatment were not upheld.

Police formally apologised to the man for the unlawful arrest and for the failure to apologise for this as soon as the error was realised.

The Authority's review of the Police investigation agreed with the findings.

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