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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Review of Police actions which led to the wrongful arrest and detainment of a man

6 September 2021

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a notification about the wrongful arrest and detainment of a man by Police in Wellington. The investigation focused on the lawfulness of the arrest, the process the subject officer followed for identification of the suspect, and why there were delays in Police verifying the suspect's alibi.

The investigation found the arrest was not lawful as it was based on a flawed identification process. This error was compounded by a lack of urgency by Police to investigate the alibi information which was provided by the suspect and his partner on the day of arrest.

As a result of their investigation, Police spoke to the arresting officer about best practice for identification of suspects, and circulated the details to other officers in the district so they could learn from the incident. Police wrote to the man to apologise for the errors they made which resulted in his wrongful arrest and several days spent on remand in prison.

The Authority agreed with the outcome of the Police investigation.

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