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Police response to IPCA report

Police response to IPCA report into complaint about use of a vehicle checkpoint

Please attribute to Assistant Commissioner Bill Searle:

Police accept the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority report into the use of a vehicle checkpoint in Lower Hutt on 2 October 2016.

The IPCA has found that Police were not justified in stopping vehicles at a checkpoint to identify individuals who had attended an “Exit International” meeting.

The Authority finds however that subsequent Police welfare support visits were in accordance with Police operational policy and its duty to protect life and safety, and these visits did not breach the Privacy Act 1993.

We accept that establishing a vehicle checkpoint to identify meeting attendees was unlawful.
However, our staff acted in order to protect life and did not intentionally break the law.


While we recognise the welfare support visits had an impact on those visited, the Authority accepts that these visits were well intentioned and in line with operational policy.
The Authority also notes that staff sought advice from suicide prevention specialists, and that the staff conducting these visits were briefed to treat individuals with dignity, respect, empathy and professionalism.


Police fully recognise the sensitivities about euthanasia, however we take no moral position about this issue.


Police has an obligation to enforce the law and a duty to protect life and safety, regardless of the situation.
When this involves issues as sensitive as this, it is important that we are continually learning to ensure that we properly discharge our duties which ultimately enable us keep our communities safe.


ENDS

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