Friday, 3 August 2007 - 6:08pm |
National News

Total support for Police Officers involved in Wallace case

2 min read

Officers involved in the Stephen Wallace case have the full support and confidence of Police, Commissioner Howard Broad said today.

Mr Broad was responding to the publication of the Coroner's Inquest report on the death of Stephen Wallace in 2000.

"It is unsurprising that the Coroner has findings and recommendations which suggest improvements can be made to Police policy and practice. I'm sure those suggestions will be taken fully into account by the Police Complaints Authority in compiling their report on the matter.

"I acknowledge the Coroner's right to give his view on the command and leadership actions of the police staff involved. I also have a view. As Commissioner of Police I have nothing but praise for all the officers involved in responding to the challenge by Stephen Wallace on that tragic night seven years ago.

"Our staff made their operational decisions based on the best information available to them and without the luxury of time the rest of us have had to replay the events over and over again.

"If individuals present a deadly threat to my staff then I don't expect those officers to lay down their lives simply because they may fear the process of accountability that follows.

"The unusual private prosecution in the Wallace case resulted in a High Court jury finding that the level of force employed by Senior Constable Abbott was justified.

"I have no intention of taking any action against any of the staff involved. All of them continue to serve Police and the public. I commend them for their professionalism and dedication and I hope that they will continue in their careers for many years to come.

"Police acknowledge the grief that continues to be felt by the Wallace family. There were no winners on that night in Waitara. It is to be hoped that with the completion of the Coroner's work the Police Complaints Authority report will follow in short order, so that at least the official chapter can be closed on this unfortunate episode in New Zealand's history," said Mr Broad.