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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Allegation of investigation bias

6 March 2020

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into the conduct of a Commercial Vehicle Safety Team officer's investigation into a heavy haulage tow in Counties Manukau. The allegation was that the Police did not investigate properly and that this demonstrated bias in favour of the towing company by comparison with Police treatment of a competitor.

The Authority found that the officer investigated and issued two infringement notices. He used his discretion to not issue further infringement notices, which he is entitled to and is considered acceptable police practice. He should have interviewed the driver to obtain further evidence so that appropriate prosecution decisions could be made.

The Authority found that in the circumstances the actions and decisions taken by the officer were appropriate and did not affect the investigation. The Authority also determined that there was insufficient evidence to reach a finding of systemic bias in the treatment of that towing company.

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