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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Complaint about Armed Offenders Squad Search

4 July 2019

In February 2017, Police received a complaint about an Armed Offenders Squad search of a house in Napier. Police were looking for a person who had a warrant for his arrest and they had received information that he was at the address. There were several grounds for complaint. These included that Police would not believe the complainant when he said that the wanted person was not at the address; that he and his partner were removed from the house at gunpoint; and that they were then detained on the roadside for over two hours. Police investigated and did not uphold any of the grounds of complaint.

The Authority disagreed with the Police findings in one respect. It determined that the complainant and his partner should not have been detained for as long as two hours and that this was unlawful.

The Authority has drawn to the attention of Police the fact that specialist Police squads sometimes misunderstand the extent of their powers of detention during a search, and those squads have received additional training as a result.

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