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Police take hard line on staff criminal offending

Police take hard line on staff criminal offending

Police say criminal behaviour by police staff will always be investigated vigorously after the sentencing today of a former staff member on methamphetamine charges.

Timothy Sarah, 38, of Auckland, was jailed for four years when he appeared in the Auckland High Court today for sentencing on three charges of supplying methamphetamine, one charge of possessing methamphetamine and one charge of dishonestly accessing a computer system.

Sarah was working as a non-sworn (civilian) police prosecutor in Auckland when he was arrested in 2011 after police discovered he had been selling the Class A drug to a number of people in Auckland.

He also admitted illegally using the police NIA computer system to obtain information about fellow drug dealers and associates so he could warn them of police interest in them.

Officer in charge of the investigation into Sarah, Detective Senior Sergeant Lloyd Schmid of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of NZ (OFCANZ), said police staff were not immune to the law and any allegations of criminal behaviour were taken very seriously.

"This successful prosecution is a good indication of how we treat allegations of wrongdoing by police staff. As an organisation, we will not tolerate criminal behaviour by our staff and we will always take any allegations extremely seriously," Mr Schmid said.

In this instance, Sarah was not only involved in serious drug dealing, but he was also using police resources to enable him to keep his "business" going. These types of cases meant police were often more vigorous in their investigations than they would be with members of the public.

"Criminal offending by police staff is not only unacceptable, but it is also extremely disappointing for other staff and the organisation as a whole," Mr Schmid said.

ENDS

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