The Authority oversaw a Police investigation where the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) used tear gas to arrest a man who called Police falsely stating that armed offenders had shot someone at his house.
Police arrived at the man’s house and spoke to a relative who told them that although there were people at the property earlier, they were unarmed, and no one had been shot.
The man was live streaming on social media, apparently intoxicated and threatening to harm himself. He refused to talk to the Police Negotiation Team and after about 5 hours the AOS deployed tear gas, entered the house, and arrested him.
Police subsequently found an unlicensed shotgun, ammunition, and a small amount of cannabis in his house. The man was charged, and his bail opposed.
The man complained that Police used excessive force in entering his home. He believes the charges should not have been laid against him, as he was later released, and all charges were withdrawn.
The Police review found that the AOS were justified in entering the house and arresting the man for calling Police about a fictitious armed incident. The charges relating to the cannabis and misuse of a telephone were withdrawn as the man faced more serious charges and prosecution was not in the public interest. The review identified deficiencies in the incident investigation that also resulted in the charges being withdrawn. This was addressed with the staff member concerned.
The review also found that the man’s bail was rightly opposed, and that Police gave accurate information to the Court to make the decision.
We agree with the findings and outcome of the Police review of this incident.