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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Suicide attempt in custody in Waitemata District

23 December 2019

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a complaint about a woman attempting to commit suicide by cutting her wrist while in Police custody. The woman also alleged that an officer had incited her to attempt suicide, that the razor blade had been in the gown or blanket that she was supplied with by Police, and that it took Police 45 minutes to come to her aid after her suicide attempt.

The investigation found that she was not incited to commit suicide, the razor blade she used was most likely taken into the cell by her, and the time between her suicide attempt and the officers entering her cell to provide medical assistance, was less than 15 minutes.

The investigation identified a number of issues related to the observation and monitoring of the woman during her period of detention in custody and these were addressed with the staff involved.

The Authority agreed with the outcome of the investigation.

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