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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Use of force at Tauranga Hospital

25 February 2020


The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that four Police officers used appropriate force when removing an arrested man from Tauranga Hospital on 1 March 2018.

Two days prior, the man had consumed a large quantity of drugs and suffered a medical episode. While he was in hospital, Police located drugs and related items belonging to him. They arrested him and he remained under Police guard pending discharge from hospital.

Once discharged, the man refused to accompany Police to Tauranga Police Station, so four officers removed him from his hospital bed and attempted to place him in handcuffs. He violently resisted, and the resulting fracas lasted several minutes. He eventually stopped resisting and was taken from the hospital to the waiting Police van. Hospital staff were concerned by what they had seen and reported the incident to Police.

The Authority found that the force used by the officers to restrain and remove the man was appropriate to deal with his violent resistance and the threat he posed. However, the plan made by the acting sergeant for the removal of the man from the hospital was inadequate.

"The man's behaviour while in hospital indicated that it was highly likely he would resist; the sergeant should have communicated a proposed plan to hospital staff and explored what options were available to prevent disruption" said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.

Public Report
Use of force at Tauranga Hospital
(PDF 440 KB)

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