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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Allegation of indecent assault not upheld - Counties Manukau

14 July 2020

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into an allegation a male Police officer indecently assaulted a teenage girl in the back of a patrol car after she was arrested.

At about 11.45pm on 2 January 2018 the Police were called to the Homai Railway Station, Wiri where a member of the public reported a group of youths were attempting to steal a car.

The first two Police Officers to attend spoke to the female complainant, and two male youths and established they were unlawfully in the car. The complainant was arrested, handcuffed and placed in the back of the arresting officers patrol car. She alleged that while sitting in the back of the patrol car, the Police Officer who had arrested her put his hand on her thigh and moved it up towards her hip. She later told Police investigators that the Police Officer only stopped once she screamed at him. The complainant said she complained to other officers present, but they did not listen.

On 9 April 2018, during an unrelated interaction with different Police officers the complainant asked whether they knew the officer who allegedly assaulted her and told them what she alleged had happened on 2 January.

Police investigated the allegations.

Police interviewed the complainant, the two youths who had been with her, the five officers at the scene, the complainant's parents and made inquiries to identify the officers she alleged she spoke to after the incident. The Police investigation established the available evidence did not substantiate the allegation of indecent assault, nor that the assault had been disclosed to any officer who attended the 2 January incident.

The Authority found that the investigation was thorough and agrees with the outcome.

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