Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Police Suspend Business With Security Firm

Police Suspend Business With Security Firm

Police have suspended their business arrangements with a Wellington security company after the company supplied two staff with criminal convictions to monitor a prisoner at Wellington Central Police Station, says Police Minister Annette King.

Ms King had asked for an urgent report on the incident following questions in the House yesterday by New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark.

"I want to thank Ron Mark for alerting us to this situation. Police Commissioner Howard Broad agrees with me that it was totally inappropriate for the security company to provide two guards with criminal convictions who had not been vetted properly. He is very disappointed, and so am I."

Ms King says the Commissioner's office has provided her with a preliminary report. "One of the men assigned to monitoring a woman prisoner, assessed as being at high risk of committing suicide, had gang links and convictions for rape and serious assaults, while the guard doing the second shift had dishonesty convictions.

"It has been a normal option for Wellington Police to use security guards for many years, probably more than 20, and Wellington Police have had a business arrangement with this company, Specialised Guard Services Ltd (formerly First Contact Security), for six months. I agree it can make sense to use private security guards, rather than sworn frontline officers, to act in such a monitoring role, sitting and watching a prisoner through a glass window, but they must be fit and proper people.

"Under the arrangement with Wellington the company should not have sent police security guards who had not been cleared to obtain a security guard licence. Police have been advised by the company that checks had not been conducted on these two men, and they feel badly let down by a company that was regarded as a trusted partner."

Ms King says there are still questions that need answering. "Police are checking to make sure that nothing similar is occurring or has occurred in other police districts, and senior police managers are also reviewing their systems to ensure this situation cannot arise again. It is absolutely unacceptable. I have asked for quick assurances, and Commissioner Broad has promised me that will happen."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news