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Northland Police accept findings of IPCA report

Northland Police accept findings of IPCA report

Thursday, 19 December 2013 - 10:32am

Northland

Northland Police accept the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority's (IPCA) report regarding the Police response to complaints made by Ashlee Edwards.

Northland Police District Commander Superintendent Russell Le Prou agrees that Police failed to protect Ashlee Edwards.  "I am saddened by this incident and with the lack of response by the officers who did not take proper ownership of Ms Edwards' complaints and follow them up with urgency."

Mr Le Prou says the officers have been disciplined and have faced serious consequences for their lack of action.

Mr Le Prou has also personally apologised to Ms Edwards' mother for the Police failure to keep her daughter safe.

"This is a tragedy for Ashlee Edwards' family who have lost a daughter, grand-daughter, sister and mother."

A man has since been charged with Ms Edwards' murder and is awaiting trial.

Mr Le Prou says the IPCA acknowledged the actions that Northland Police have taken since Ms Edwards' death to improve its response to family violence incidents in the district. 

Some of these changes included the appointment of a District Victim Manager; introducing an effective tasking system which treats victim safety and offender accountability with urgency; introducing new initiatives that focus on repeat victims, including victims of family violence.

Family Violence continues to be a serious problem in New Zealand and NZ Police will continue to strengthen how we operate, work better with our partner agencies to enhance the service we provide to families and to bring offenders to account.

"This time of year is a particularly stressful time for families and violence in the home escalates over Christmas and January.  Therefore we will be focusing on those who are most at risk and ensuring they get the support they need. 

As a friend, family member and community member, we all have a responsibility to prevent family violence and the harm that occurs.  Don’t ask yourself what will happen if I say something, what will happen if you don’t?"

Mr Le Prou says Ms Edwards' death is a constant reminder that Police needs to be vigilant in its response to victims of family violence and ensure offenders are held to account.

"Not long after Ms Edwards died Police and her family planted a tree in her memory near the bridge where she died.

I drive past that area everyday when I come to work and I think about the tragedy of Ms Edwards' death and that Police must do everything possible to ensure that it doesn't happen to someone else."

ENDS

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