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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Seizure of firearm and ammunition in Dunedin unlawful

29 May 2020

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a complaint where it was alleged that Police unlawfully entered a private property in Dunedin and unlawfully seized a firearm and ammunition.

The investigation found that the officer had lawfully entered the property in order to execute an arrest warrant issued by the Alexandra District Court. Once inside, the officer saw, in plain view, an unlocked cabinet which he believed was a firearms cabinet. The cabinet contained a firearm and ammunition. The investigation found that the seizure of the firearm and ammunition was unlawful as the circumstances at the time did not meet the requirements of the law relating to search and seizure (section 18 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012).

The Authority agrees with the findings of the Police investigation and the actions taken to deal with the Officer's actions, noting that the Southern District Professional Conduct Manager has written a letter of apology to the complainant.

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