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Inappropriate conduct by a Police officer in Bay of Plenty District

3 October 2019

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a male Police officer acted inappropriately towards two of his colleagues in separate incidents in August and October 2018.

In October 2018, following a quiz night at a Bay of Plenty Police station, Officer A approached a female staff member as she was getting ready to leave. He offered her "$20 for a BJ". She was upset by the comment and complained to a senior officer. Police advised the IPCA of the complaint.

While investigating this issue, the Authority became aware that in August 2018, Officer A used a newly-recruited female Police officer's computer to send himself an email, purportedly from her, asking if they had become "best friends." He then replied to this email from his own computer and email account. When the female Police officer saw the two emails, she attempted to end the exchange in a friendly way.

A few days later, Officer A implied he used illegal drugs in texts to the female Police officer. She was concerned about the apparent drug use by a Police officer, so spoke with a superior about the text messages.

Police conducted employment investigations into each of these incidents and sanctioned Officer A. Their investigations also found that Officer A did not use illegal drugs, but he had implied he did in an attempt to impress the female Police officer.

The Authority found that Officer A behaved inappropriately towards both of his colleagues. His actions were inconsistent with Police policy on discrimination and harassment, Police Values, and the Police Code of Conduct.

Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty, said: "Quite simply, Officer A should never have placed his colleagues in a position where they felt uncomfortable, embarrassed and demeaned. His behaviour was completely inappropriate, and it is no mitigation that his comments and actions were intended to be funny or to impress. Officer A fell short of the behaviour and values expected of a New Zealand Police employee by a considerable margin."

Public Report

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