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Police response to IPCA report - Kawhia

Police acknowledges the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority report which finds that the continued use of a taser during an arrest in Kawhia on 13 July 2017 was unjustified.

On 13 July 2017 the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad went to two adjacent houses in Kawhia to locate two people who were believed to have manufactured methamphetamine.

Police surrounded the houses and called on occupants to come out.
A man came outside but did not follow Police instructions.

Police used two Police dogs and a taser to arrest him.

The IPCA report found that the use of the two dogs, and the first discharge of a taser, was justified.

“These tools are only used in high-risk situations and serve as a reminder of why offenders should comply with Police instructions,” says Waikato District Commander Super Intendent Bruce Bird.

However the Authority considered that after the taser was first discharged, the man was trying to comply with Police and was attempting to protect himself.

The use of a taser a further three times was therefore found to be excessive and unjustified.

“We acknowledge that the officer who discharged the taser considered a range of factors, however we accept the finding that the use of force was not proportionate after the first use,” says Superintendent Bird.

“Our staff work in a dynamic environment and regularly have to make difficult decisions in seconds.
We don’t always get it right but when we get it wrong we work to ensure we learn from it.

“This has highlighted that we have work to do around the coordination, communication and use of multiple tactical options when apprehending an offender.”

Officers are trained in a range of tactical options when dealing with offenders, and any use of force must be considered, timely, proportionate and appropriate given the circumstances known at the time.


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