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Statement following sentencing for former Police officer

"Statement following sentencing for former Police officer"

Attribute to Superintendent Karyn Malthus, Auckland City District Commander:

Police acknowledge today’s sentencing at Auckland District Court for Vili Taukolo, a former police officer who pleaded guilty to accessing Police’s national intelligence application system (NIA) for dishonest purposes.

Mr Taukolo, 30, was serving as a police officer during the time of his offending, however he subsequently resigned and is no longer employed by New Zealand Police.

Through our investigation it was discovered that this man breached the privacy of a large number of individuals by unlawfully accessing their information on NIA.

Not only did his actions amount to a breach of privacy for these individuals, which included some of his own colleagues in New Zealand Police, he committed a serious criminal offence each time.

Police officers spent months analysing the information accessed by Mr Taukolo on NIA.

The investigation was exhaustive in nature and only concluded recently.

Every one of his NIA transactions over the period of his offending were analysed individually to assess whether it was a legitimate or illegitimate query.

No safety concerns were evident for the vast majority of individuals searched following an analysis of these transactions.

If Police have serious concerns for a person’s safety, we will contact those affected.

I want to reassure the community that Police took immediate investigative action when this offending was first discovered, and we self-reported the matter to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Every officer makes an oath to abide by the Police code of conduct when they join New Zealand Police and to serve the public of New Zealand.

To break that oath is of the greatest concern to all police employees.

The actions of this officer are disgraceful and Police staff rightly feel betrayed by him.

To say that I am disappointed in his actions is an understatement.

He has broken not only the high level of trust we place on our own employees, but also the trust that is rightly expected of Police by the public.

I want to reassure the community that he acted alone and no other Police officers were found to be involved.

I also want to make clear that his actions do not reflect that of the thousands of police officers who go to work every day to keep our communities safe.

As a result of this incident, a comprehensive internal review has been conducted to examine our processes and establish if there are any changes we can implement to prevent this type of offending from taking place in the future, and this work remains ongoing.

ENDS

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