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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Attempted suicide in Nelson Police cell

2 March 2021

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation after being notified that a detainee had attempted suicide in a Police cell.

Police reviewed the circumstances that led to the attempted suicide, as well as the actions taken when an officer discovered the detainee trying to strangle himself. They found that officers acted swiftly to intervene, and appropriate medical care was provided. They concluded that there were no breaches of the custodial management policy.

The review highlighted that there were ligature points in the cells and insufficient CCTV coverage to assist staff to monitor detainees.

The Authority accepted that Police complied with custodial policy and agreed that that officers responded well on discovering the attempted suicide. The Authority in its capacity as the National Preventive Mechanism for Police custody under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989 has inspected the custody unit and has made formal recommendations to Police to address the safety risks in the cells.

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