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Police Addressing Issues Raised In IPCA Report

Police Addressing Issues Raised In IPCA Report
New Zealand Police National News Release
5:01pm 21 September 2008

Police are reviewing the processes that relate to conflict of interest and search warrants following the release of an Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report into a complaint made in 2006 by Dunedin man, Bruce Van Essen.

"The report finds that in this instance we could have done better in managing perceived conflicts of interest and in the way we obtained and executed search warrants," Relieving Southern District Commander, Detective Superintendent Malcolm Burgess said.

While Police would certainly review their processes in light of the report, they already had much clearer guidelines to follow in both areas, he said.

"Our Code of Conduct adopted in early 2008 addresses issues around conflict of interest as does the Auditor-General's 2007 Guidelines on managing conflicts of interest in public entities," he said.

Detective Superintendent Burgess said the procedures in relation to preparing and executing search warrants had been clarified in recent case law and were the subject of advice to all Police staff in 2007.

"Search warrants are a standard part of our investigation process and it is important we get that right. The advice from the IPCA is consistent with the case law developments and reflects current practice."

He said that external agencies' requests for Police to complete applications to obtain search warrants are also under review.

"This includes ensuring that Police hold on file copies of relevant material held by the agency in relation to a search warrant application. In the past, the documentation was usually only held by the agency seeking the affidavit," he said.

The report finds no evidence of misconduct or neglect of duty by the police staff involved.


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