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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

4 February 2019

Officer held in custody over the weekend following arrest for charges arising from a family harm incident

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a complaint from an officer, who was kept in custody over the weekend after being arrested and charged with offences arising from a family harm incident.

The officer complained to the Authority that:

  • he should not have been held in custody and should have been bailed immediately by Police;
  • an officer involved in the decision to charge him had a conflict of interest that was not appropriately managed;
  • the decision by Police to continue with the prosecution after the victim withdrew her complaint was unreasonable; and
  • there was an unacceptable delay in the subsequent employment investigation.

The Police investigation found that the decision not to bail the officer was lawful and made by a senior officer after making appropriate enquiries. The decision to continue with the prosecution was based on opinions as to the strength of the evidence and made following appropriate legal reviews.

No further action was taken in respect of the alleged conflict of interest, as that officer is no longer employed by Police. However initial enquiries did not find any evidence that a conflict existed. Police have apologised to the officer for the time it took to complete the employment investigation, and the impact of that delay on the officer and his family.

The Authority agreed with the Police findings.

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