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We are the only NZ Police oversight body

We are not part of the NZ Police

Under law we are fully independent

If you have a complaint about the NZ Police, you can come to us

Whaia te pono, kia puawai ko te tika

Seek the truth, that justice may prevail


Monitoring places of Police detention

Read here about our responsibilities under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT)

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:

  • It helps to protect the human rights of prisoners.
  • It ensures that Police working in these facilities know what conditions need to be observed.

What is a Police detention facility?

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.

What does monitoring involve?

Monitoring takes a number of forms, these include:

  • Quarterly audits of a sample of District custody records and investigations of individual complaints or incidents in custody to address any breaches of required standards of care.
  • Announced and unannounced inspections of Police and court cells.
  • We look at the physical conditions of the cells to ensure they are safe and humane.
  • We also view records and interview prisoners and staff.

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.

What you should do if you have concerns

You should first raise your concerns with the Police officers on duty or their supervisor.

You can also contact us directly.

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