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IPCA Finds Justified Use Of Police Dog To Apprehend Young Person In Te Awamutu

 

Police acknowledge the findings by the Independent Police Conduct Authority which found that Police were justified in using a dog to apprehend a young person during an incident in Te Awamutu.

At around 1:30am on 4 January 2023, Police were responding to an alarm activation at a pharmacy in Te Awamutu. Police officers arrived and saw a vehicle driving with its lights off, quickly leaving the carpark which led them to suspect they had potentially broken into the pharmacy.

Police attempted to stop the vehicle which failed to stop however the officers decided not to pursue due to the manner of driving.

Police located the vehicle a few minutes later with sparks coming from one of the rear tyres. The vehicle came to a stop and two occupants fled from the scene.

A police dog handler used his Police dog to track the two occupants running away from him. He warned them that he would release his dog if they did not stop. They continued to run away so the dog was released and bit one of the occupants, aged 12, on the leg.

He was taken to hospital and admitted for treatment.

Waikato District Commander Superintendent Bruce Bird says the IPCA found the officers had reasonable cause to suspect the occupants of the car had been engaging in serious offending and it was appropriate for the dog handler to release the dog to prevent them escaping:

“The staff involved acted quickly and professionally to a call for service and to apprehend the occupants of the vehicle. They were working with information available to them at the time and showed sound decision making during this incident with the safety of our community at the forefront of their minds.“

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