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Home / Outcomes / 2024 Summaries of Police Investigations

Allegation authorised officer assaulted minor after Court appearance not upheld by IPCA

2 May 2024

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into an allegation that an authorised officer punched a young person in a court passageway in Counties Manukau in August 2023. Oranga Tamariki staff raised concerns about the incident after they received the young person back into their care with injuries to his eye and nose.

The incident occurred while the authorised officer moved the young person back to the cells after his hearing. As it happened in an area not covered by CCTV and was not witnessed by any other party, the investigation relied largely on the doctor’s report and the two parties’ contrasting accounts. The officer claimed he hit the young person with an “open palm strike” in self-defence after the young person hit him, whereas the young person said he was punched multiple times for “being cheeky”.

With limited evidence to draw from, Police compared the credibility of both parties’ statements and found the officer’s account to be more probable.

As the allegations against the officer were not upheld, no employment process was undertaken. However, Police delivered additional training to the authorised officers in the team about safely moving people in custody, such as ensuring staff worked in pairs or groups.

The Authority agrees with the process and actions taken by Police.

IPCA: 23-19187

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