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Independent inquiry needed into police practices

5 November 2001

Independent inquiry needed into police practices

Green MP Nandor Tanczos today said there was a clear need for an independent inquiry into a range of problems within the New Zealand police.

"Public confidence in our police force has taken a blow after a number of recent events such as the wrongful imprisonment of three teenagers for seven months earlier this year, allegations of sexual violation, and lawyers in Whangarei banding together to keep an eye on local police after claims they are using too much physical force," said Nandor.

"We have had the Police Association President Greg O'Connor publicly admitting that police stop and search people because of how they look."

Nandor said comments from the Criminal Bar Association that complaints about the quality of police work covered the full spectrum of crimes was a particular concern.

"Police Commissioner Rob Robinson, to his credit, agrees there are issues with the quality of some police work. This needs to be urgently addressed."

Nandor said the attitude of denial by some Whangarei police, who have refused to accept a judicial finding against them, does not help.

"Sloppy police work has led to innocent people being jailed, and guilty people getting off. As a result, the relationship between police and the public has deteriorated," said Nandor.

"These problems cannot be put down to a few individuals. We need to recognise that there are systematic problems. Another internal inquiry or a Police Complaints Authority investigation will not address the root issues.

"I am once again calling on the Minister of Police to initiate a truly independent and wide ranging inquiry."

ENDS


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