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

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels