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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Police treatment of man living in supported accommodation

4 February 2020

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that Police in Auckland should not have gone to the address of a man who had earlier declined to speak with them in order to question him further.

The incident occurred on 16 May 2018, after an officer stopped and questioned two men in Herne Bay at about 2.30am. The officer was patrolling the area following a sexual assault that was committed the week before. After initially answering the officer's questions, one of the men decided not to engage further and walked to his nearby home within supported accommodation.

Other officers were then instructed to go to the address and talk further to the man. Although the man had told the night manager he did not wish to speak to Police, the night manager allowed the officers to enter the communal area. Police then intervened in a physical altercation between the man and the night manager, and subsequently unlawfully restrained and handcuffed the man.

"It was appropriate for the first officer to question the two men on the street. However, their engagement with Police was voluntary and both were entitled to stop talking to the officer and leave. The officers who subsequently visited the home of one of the men to question him further acted unlawfully" said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.

Public report

Police treatment of man living in supported accommodation (PDF 314 KB)

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