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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Suicide attempt - Bay of Plenty

27 July 2020

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation where a man attempted to commit suicide while in Police custody.

In July 2019 Police arrested a 30-year-old man for several matters. He was held in Police custody overnight to appear before a Court Registrar the next morning. Post his court appearance he was remanded in custody and returned to the custody unit at the local Police Station. On his return he was assessed as 'Not in need of specific care" and placed into a cell. At about 5.30pm that day custody staff were alerted to an alarm sounding in the cellblock. Checks were completed and the man was found to have damaged the sprinkler system in his cell. He admitted he had attempted to commit suicide.

The Police investigation found that after the incident the man was appropriately reassessed as "in need of constant monitoring" and placed into an observation cell. He was constantly monitored until he could be seen by mental health medical personnel.

Checks and processes subsequent to the suicide attempt were in line with Police policy. There was no indication prior to the suicide attempt that he was at risk of harming himself.

The Police investigation found that there was no fault in the management of the care of the man while in custody.

The Authority agrees with this finding.

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