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Police seize opportunity to examine culture

Police seize opportunity to examine culture

Police Commissioner Rob Robinson said Police would push ahead with an examination of its culture and ensure the values which most staff had signed up for when they joined the organisation were reasserted as a hallmark of policing.

The Commissioner said he welcomed the Government's announcement this afternoon that it was extending the term of the Commission of Inquiry into Police conduct with the added opportunity for him to advise the Commission on actions taken and proposed changes to the Police culture.

Mr Robinson said that when the Commission of Inquiry was established a year ago he had pledged the full cooperation of NZ Police in its work.

"While decisions around the laying of criminal charges had delayed some of the Commission's work, Police were of the view that there was other work within the Commission's terms of reference that could proceed.

"We will further articulate our thoughts on this matter in our submissions to the Commission when it meets again.

"We haven't been sitting on our hands. We have been having a close look at ourselves," said Mr Robinson.

The Commissioner said that it was with regret that he was also announcing today that an audit of the Police e-mail system had revealed that several hundred staff in the 10,000 strong organisation had been misusing the system by sending, receiving and storing inappropriate and potentially offensive images.

Mr Robinson said that while most of the images involved were of a type that might be seen in adult only magazines and videos a small number could potentially be classified as "objectionable". None of the images involved child pornography.

"It is highly distressing to the majority of us who have dedicated our lives to serving the community through the police service to find that there are others among us who have let the side down.

"I can assure the public that we will clean up our own yard and restore trust and confidence to the degree that we and they demand. (see separate statement for details on Operation Insight).

"The only upside to this situation is that it gives us the opportunity to thoroughly examine our whole conduct and culture and then to put things right where that is necessary.

"Dame Margaret Bazley has many years experience in the public sector and is widely regarded by many of us in Police as someone who will critically question, examine and make recommendations relating to our plans and actions to fix the issues now before us," Mr Robinson said.

ENDS

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