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Police Acknowledge IPCA Report Into Justified Use Of A Police Dog In Tauranga

Police acknowledge the findings by the Independent Police Conduct Authority which found that a dog handler was justified in releasing a police dog on a man while taking him into custody during an incident in Tauranga.

On the 18th of April 2023, a man had stolen his ex-partner’s car and abducted their 8-month-old child in breach of a protection order. The man fled from police when they attempted to stop him.

The following day the man agreed to meet his ex-partner in a rural area to return the child to her. After the child was handed over, members of the Armed Offenders Squad found the man hiding in the bush nearby.

Due to concerns the man had a knife and the rough rural terrain they were working in, a decision was made after the man failed to come out to voice appeals, to release the police dog to effect the arrest and ensure the safety of the officers.

The man received injuries to his face and required surgery to his ear. Immediate medical aid was provided once Police had located the man and arrested him.

Bay of Plenty District Commander Superintendent Tim Anderson says the officers made the right decision to ensure their safety given they were in extremely rough terrain, and dealing with a person who had carried out serious offending:

“The IPCA found the officer was justified in using a Police dog in these circumstances. We also note that the IPCA found no evidence to substantiate claims by the man’s ex-partner that officers unlawfully detained her or searched her phones.

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“Our officers were supporting our partners at Oranga Tamariki who had a warrant to uplift the child involved. Our staff acted very professionally and did a great job ensuring the safety of the child and all involved including the wider community and our staff”, says Supt. Anderson.

“I’m extremely proud and appreciative of the work that our Police dog handlers do in the Bay of Plenty. They apprehend serious criminals daily, which in turn prevents further crime and victimisations.”

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