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Goff names deputy to Police Complaints Authority

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Justice

30 June 2005

Goff names deputy to Police Complaints Authority

Wellington barrister John Gibson QC has been appointed deputy to the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), Justice Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"This appointment will provide major additional assistance to the Authority to deal quickly and efficiently with the increasing number of cases it is receiving from the public," Mr Goff said.

"Mr Gibson has had a distinguished legal career and has an extensive range of experience in criminal law. He is a former chair of the New Zealand Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and until recently was chair of the New Zealand Stock Exchange Disciplinary Committee.

"The PCA investigates complaints alleging police misconduct and neglect of duty, and incidents resulting in death or serious harm. Mr Gibson's role will be to review investigations, and to resolve complaints.

"Mr Gibson's appointment is part of the government's response to an increase in the PCA's workload in recent years. Cabinet has also agreed to increase the PCA's annual budget – currently $1.52 million – by an additional $345,000 in 2005/06, rising to $418,000 in subsequent years.

"The number of complaints received by the PCA has increased by 14 per cent over five years, with 3,322 complaints lodged by 1956 people in 2003/04. The increasing complexity of complaints being lodged has also contributed to the additional time needed for the PCA to resolve many complaints.

"It is critical that public confidence in the PCA's work is maintained. To that end, in November 2003 the government appointed four PCA investigators to reinforce the Authority's independence from Police.

"The additional resources announced today will further reinforce public confidence by assisting the PCA to investigate and resolve complaints in a timely fashion," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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