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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Process issue in the detention of two youth by Wellington District police

17 March 2020

The law states that in certain circumstances Police can detain young persons following arrest but if they are to be detained in Police custody for more than 24 hours before they appear in Court, Police and the chief executive of Oranga Tamariki must jointly complete certain paperwork. The Authority oversaw a Police review into an incident in the Wellington District where two youths were detained for 37 hours without the appropriate joint certificate being issued.

The review identified the newly appointed Custody Sergeant who should have issued the certificate, did not know of this requirement. Successive handovers to incoming Custody Sergeants also failed to identify this oversight across multiple shifts.

Police took remedial action with the supervisors and implemented appropriate changes to their processes to minimise the risk of this happening again. The Authority considers the outcome is appropriate.

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