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Police accept findings of IPCA report

Police accept findings of IPCA report into Police Communications Response to Cattle on Old Coach Road

Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 10:22am


Police accepts the findings of a report into the serious injury of a Dunedin truck driver following a Police Communicator's failure to record key information after two emergency calls regarding wandering stock.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report relates to an incident in June 2012, in which the driver collided with a cattle beast near the Southland town of Mataura, following reports to Police of cattle on the road posing a risk to motorists.

The report found that a Police Communicator's failure to record the rural address property identification (RAPID) number following the first call, or create a new job for the second report of wandering cattle, was contrary to Police policy and hindered Police’s ability to accurately locate the cattle.

Southern Communications Centre Manager Inspector Kieren Kortegast said Police had met with the driver following the incident, and had apologised for the failure.

"Police are concerned with any call from the public that results in service failure, which in this case had serious consequences.

"The staff member in question missed the opportunity to prevent a collision that has caused serious injury to a member of the public.

"In this case, the staff member has not received RAPID number training, an issue that has since been addressed. However, his actions at the time in disregarding information offered by the public were not consistent with procedure," Mr Kortegast said.

The same communicator took a second call re the wandering stock some 40 minutes later. He incorrectly assumed that this had already been dealt with and did not enter a new event or update the existing job. This is a breach of Police procedure, as a new job is to be created or an existing job updated for all calls such as this.

"The individual communicator's actions in this case fell well short of the high standards of service we set for ourselves. We take these standards seriously, and the performance of the staff member in this instance compelled us to refer this matter to the IPCA" said Inspector Kortegast.

"All Police Communications staff receive comprehensive training on the range of methods available to locate and verify incidents, including the use of RAPID number identification.

"This incident has reinforced to all our staff the critical importance of creating events, and recording, RAPID details and other key information. It is about using all available means to provide the best possible service to the public."

The staff member has since attended RAPID number training, and has been subject to a disciplinary process concerning the failure to enter a new event for the additional call.


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