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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Unlawful search and arrest by officers in Eastern District

7 October 2020

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a complaint that officers carried out an unlawful search for a person they wished to arrest. During the search, officers arrested the complainant for obstruction. He was briefly detained outside his house whilst the search was completed.

The investigation found that officers did not have reasonable grounds to believe the wanted person was at the complainant's house, before they entered and searched the property. The arrest was found to be unlawful, because officers were not acting in the lawful execution of their duty at the time.

Police met with the complainant to apologise. They also provided training on executing searches to all frontline staff. The officers involved went through an employment process and received appropriate outcomes.

The Authority agrees with the Police's findings and commends Police on its response to this complaint.

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