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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Officers use force to detainee a young person in Whanganui

25 November 2019

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation where it was alleged that officers caused injuries to a 14-year-old girl whilst detaining her. Officers responding to an assault allegation were directed towards the girl who was not suspected any offences but whose behaviour led to concerns for her welfare. The officers decided to take her home.

The officers explained why they were going to take her home and she walked to the Police car with them. When they reached the Police car the girl suddenly became aggressive, swearing at the officers and then hitting out. She repeatedly kicked a female officer. Force was used to apply handcuffs and place her in the Police car. She sustained minor injuries to her wrists and one ankle when she struggled against the officers and tried to get out of the car. She was taken to the Police station and her parents were contacted. She was subsequently released into the care of her mother. Police did not charge her with any offences.

The Police investigation considered the circumstances leading to her detention and whether it was lawful and necessary. The investigation concluded that the officers had good reasons to be concerned for the girl's welfare and made the right decision to detain her. The officers' actions were lawful and the force used was proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances.

The Authority has independently reviewed the Police investigation and agreed with the findings.

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