Police accepts IPCA response on poaching investigation
Police accepts the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today which found that allegations of a delay in a poaching investigation in the Southern District in 2018 were unfounded.
The Authority also investigated a perceived conflict of interest which arose when the officer in charge referred the landowner to a group of hunters to help prevent further poaching activity.
However the Authority found that the officer had acted reasonably and that the perceived conflict of interest was a result of the nature of the officer’s role as a sole-charge constable in a rural community.
“The officer involved came up with a practical solution to help prevent further suspicious activity on this landowner’s property, which is something he often does in his small rural community,” says Otago Coastal Area Commander Inspector Matenga Gray.
A second officer not involved in the investigation had also emailed the landowner from his Police email account.
The Authority found that this email was inappropriate and resulted in a perceived conflict of interest.
“The officer sent this email with the best of intentions but we acknowledge that this created a perceived conflict of interest and the officer has been spoken with,” says Inspector Gray.
"We will take learnings from this as an organisation - it is a reminder of how important it is to avoid conflicts of interest, whether they are perceived or actual."