OPCAT is a United Nations agreement signed by New Zealand in 2007.
OPCAT requires Police detention facilities to be independently monitored and inspected. This is designed to protect against torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
We are responsible for monitoring places of Police detention. We are not part of the Police and are headed by a judge.
Monitoring is important for two reasons:
A detention facility is anything that’s used to hold or transport prisoners e.g. a cell in a Police station or a court or a vehicle such as a Police van or car.
Monitoring takes a number of forms, these include:
We may make recommendations that changes be made e.g. to material conditions such as food and hygiene, risk assessment procedures, maintaining detainees, access to health services and staff conduct and training.
You should first raise your concerns with the Police officers on duty or their supervisor.
You can also contact us directly.