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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Use of Police dog during arrest in Auckland justified

19 November 2019

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that Police were justified in using a Police dog during the arrest of a man in Auckland on 9 November 2018.

The arrest occurred when Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) officers executed a warrant at a commercial workshop in Penrose, in search of a potentially armed offender believed to be involved in the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine. They encountered a man who was not their target but appeared to be calling out to warn others. The man resisted as officers tried to remove him from the scene.

As he struggled, the man fell to the ground and curled up his body, preventing access to his hands. A Police dog handler used his dog to bite down on the man's leg and pull it away from his body, which enabled the other officers to seize the man's hands and attach handcuffs.

The man later complained to the Authority, saying he was already on the ground and handcuffed when the dog bit him. However, CCTV footage showed that the man had not yet been handcuffed when Police used the dog.

"The situation was dangerous, and time was of the essence. The officers were in a vulnerable position with a potentially armed offender at large in a building which may have contained dangerous chemicals. It was reasonable to use the Police dog to apprehend the man, because his continued resistance posed a threat to officers and he needed to be brought under control as soon as possible", said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.

The Authority also determined that Police had lawful justification to detain the man during the execution of the warrant and provided the man with timely and appropriate medical assistance.

Public Report

Auckland man bitten by Police dog (PDF 343 KB)



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