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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Home / Outcomes / 2023 Summaries of Police Investigations

Eastern District: Self-harm event in Police custody

3 July 2023

The Authority oversaw an investigation regarding an incident where a detainee self-harmed in Wairoa station cells.

The detainee had been placed on a constant-monitoring regime based on a direction from a medical professional. This requires a detainee be directly observed by a staff member without interruption during their detention to manage the identified risks.

The Police investigation determined the initial staff member assigned to monitoring duties failed to appropriately monitor the detainee. This resulted in a prolonged self-harm attempt which went unnoticed.

CCTV footage shows the staff member placed themself at a distance where their view was obstructed. The staff member was distracted and inattentive during this time. Police have addressed these deficiencies by way of a confidential employment outcome.

The self-harm attempt was promptly identified by another staff member when they relieved their colleague from monitoring duties. Police appropriately intervened to prevent the detainee harming themselves further and requested medical assistance. Police identified some further learnings during their investigation which circulated to relevant staff.

The Authority agrees with the findings and outcomes of the Police investigation.

IPCA: 23-16811

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