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Police response to IPCA report – New Plymouth

Police accept the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report into an incident where a woman was left unattended in a cell at New Plymouth District Court.

On 6 December 2017, the woman was taken into Police custody while waiting for court staff to complete her bail documentation.

Court adjourned for the day and the woman was left unattended for almost six hours.

The IPCA report found that one of the officers involved did not follow proper procedure, which led to the woman being left in the cell.

“This happened as a result of human error.

The officer involved acknowledged the mistake and Police sent a written apology to the woman,” Taranaki Area Commander Inspector Keith Borrell says.

“While the officer’s actions were accidental, an employment investigation was undertaken in relation to her actions.

“This incident should not have occurred and changes have been made as a result.”

The IPCA also found custody staff were not generally following policy and procedure for detainees being received at the court cells, and that policy and procedure was inappropriate.

Police conducted a review of the policy and made a change to ensure wherever practicable, and in the absence of any reason to do otherwise, defendants bailed by the court should await bail documentation in a suitable bail waiting area, rather than court cells.


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