Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Death of a man in custody at HBACU

Death of a man in custody at HBACU

30 May 2019

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that Police as an organisation, as well as individual officers, failed in their legal duty of care when a man in custody died after a drug overdose in November 2017.

The man was taken into Police custody at the Hawkes Bay Area Custody Unit early on 12 November 2017. When the man was received into custody, he resisted Police attempts to search him, and his health and wellbeing were not properly evaluated due to his agitated state. This lead to Police failing to become aware of warnings on the man's file, particularly that he had suffered a brain injury in the past and did not take his prescribed medication to prevent seizures.

Sometime during the night of 12 November 2017, the man took a large dose of methamphetamine. In the early hours of 13 November, he suffered prolonged and increasingly violent seizures. A post mortem later revealed the man had a fatal level of methamphetamine in his system, and expert medical advice was that he had died of suffocation related to a seizure, probably at about 4.30am.

Throughout the period of his detention, Police failed to make regular checks on the man as required by policy. Several checks were recorded as having been made while the man was having seizures, and after the man had died. An officer placed a breakfast tray in the man's cell at 5.42am on 13 November, yet the man's death was not discovered until about 10am that morning, when an officer tried to wake the man to take him to court.



The Authority found that officers in the custody unit repeatedly failed to perform their duty to care for the man as required by law and policy. Although these omissions were not causative of the man's death, they were serious and inexcusable.

Judge Colin Doherty, Authority Chair, said: "Police policy exists precisely to manage risk and avert the sort of outcome that occurred in this case. The omissions of officers to comply with that policy were likely to cause injury or suffering to a vulnerable adult such as this man."

"Poor leadership, supervision, and support of custody staff contributed to a culture in the custody unit that tolerated a repeated and serious disregard of Police policy and good practice."

The Authority found that there was insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution of any individual officer, and that a corporate body such as Police could not be held criminally liable for the potential Crimes Act offences identified. The Authority noted an organisation such as Police could be held criminally liable for the actions of staff who fail to fulfil their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

The Authority could not determine how the man had accessed the methamphetamine while in custody. Police have since implemented significant changes in the Hawkes Bay Area Custody Unit.


Death of a man in custody at Hawkes Bay Area Custody Unit

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Fair Pay Agreements Good: CTU Releases Report On Sector Bargaining

The Council of Trade Unions has today released an independent report conducted by economic research company BERL into the validity of sector bargaining.

And the findings are clear - there is no economic reason not to implement sector bargaining but many social and individual wellbeing reasons to do so. More>>

 

Stats NZ: Gender Inclusive Questions Introduced

More than 28,000 New Zealand households will be asked to take part in the upcoming Household Economic Survey. Starting this year, the survey will ask people to describe their gender – whether that is male, female, or if they see themselves another way, such as one of many non-binary genders. More>>

New Report: Are We Listening To Children?

A report released today is a sharp reminder that what children and young people say makes a difference, and that it’s time we paid more attention to their views, says Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft. More>>

ALSO:

The Nation: Canadian Euthanasia Practitioner Stefanie Green

The euthanasia debate is progressing, with the End of Life Choice Bill expected to have its second reading in Parliament on Wednesday. A similar bill was passed in Canada in 2016 ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Gun Buy-Back Scheme

Do gun amnesties and buy-backs save lives? Since it’s always difficult to exclude all of the socio-economic factors that may be operating in parallel, the die-hard denialists in the gun lobby will always be able to find a bit of wiggle room. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Op Burnham Revelations

Eight centuries ago at Beziers in France, the papal soldiers besieging the town faced much the same problem as the New Zealand troops engaged in Operation Burnham – namely, how to how to tell the difference among the town’s inhabitants as to which were Cathar heretics, and which were true Catholics... More>>

ALSO:

World Refugee Day: Former Refugees Say Policy Must Change

This year, 1000 refugees will be able to resettle here in New Zealand - but there are restrictions on where those people can come from. More>>

ALSO:

The Lobbyist Staffer: PM Defends Handling Of Conflicts Of Interest

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she's comfortable with the way her interim chief of staff's conflicts of interest were managed. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels