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Police Acknowledge Findings Of IPCA Report

Police acknowledge the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) findings released today regarding officers' use of force following the arrest of a man required to undergo an evidential breath test.

A police officer stopped the man in Waihi at about 4.30pm on 28 December 2019 after receiving two reports about his dangerous manner of driving.

The officer called for assistance due to the man's aggressive and resistant behaviour.

Two other officers arrived, and it was decided, because of the man's behaviour, he should be transported to the Waihi Police Station to undergo the evidential breath testing procedure.

The man got into the patrol car however he refused to get out to allow Police to conduct a search.

One officer attempted to verbally reason with the man to encourage him to get out of the vehicle of his own accord, however this was not successful, and officers forcibly removed him from the vehicle.

The IPCA found that Police were justified in conducting a search of the man but that the use of force used by one of officers was unreasonable and disproportionate, and another officer was unable to execute the handcuffing technique correctly in the circumstances.

Waikato District Commander Superintendent Bruce Bird says the officers, who were confronted with an aggressive and highly intoxicated person, had the very best intentions when dealing with the matter.

"Our staff come to work every day to keep our community safe and, in any situation, the use of force is an absolute last resort."

Police accept that a tactical options report should have been submitted, as is required by any staff member who uses force.

This has been addressed with the officer via an employment process.

A second officer, found to have used the handcuffing technique incorrectly, has completed further training in this area.

The man was charged with driving with a breath alcohol level of over 400 micrograms per litre of breath and resisting arrest. He pleaded guilty to both charges.

© Scoop Media

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