The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has today released a report into Police handling of historic allegations of sexual assaults against recruits by a doctor contracted to Police, between 2002 and 2014/15.
Police acknowledge and accept the findings.
Deputy Commissioner Tania Kura says “Police would like to acknowledge the people who were affected and who had the courage to come forward and speak up when they felt something wasn’t right.
“This is clearly a situation in which Police’s high standards when dealing with historic allegations of this kind have not been met.
“It is important to note that both Police’s own criminal investigation, and a disciplinary investigation by the Medical Council’s Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, both found insufficient grounds to proceed with further action including criminal charges.
“Nevertheless, Police accept that the response to these historic allegations wasn’t sufficiently robust or timely given their seriousness, and that this was a reflection of systemic issues at the time.”
Police accept that between 2002 and 2014/15 there were failures in meeting the organisation’s obligations as an employer for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and recruit applicants. Concerns that were raised about the behaviour of a doctor contracted by Police were not appropriately dealt with at the time.
Police also acknowledge the IPCA’s finding that a criminal investigation into a complaint made in 2017, was of an acceptable standard and recruits who came forward with allegations were offered appropriate support during and after the investigation.
Deputy Commissioner Tania Kura says “The shortcomings in the response are particularly saddening when we reflect on our values as an organisation. Respect is one of our key values and it drives a standard we set for ourselves to treat others as we would want to be treated.
“We want our staff to know their safety and wellness is of great importance, and Police has taken steps to ensure this does not happen again, and to ensure complaints are properly investigated, and managed.”
Under the Police ‘Kia Tū – Stand Together’ policy there is a clear pathway for all Police employees and recruits to raise concerns about unacceptable behaviour, and there are clear processes to ensure these reports are dealt with appropriately. There are a range of support services available which are confidential and tailored to the specific needs of the individual and clear outcomes to address behaviours that are found to be unacceptable or unlawful.
The medical assessment for people applying to join Police was reviewed and endorsed by occupational health specialists as fit for purpose. Details of the medical assessment are published on the New Cops website. Applicants can be assessed by their personal GP or any trusted medical practitioner.
Police have reminded employees via Police intranet of how to submit a report through the Kia Tū – Stand Together reporting platform. Any complaints of sexual assault can also be made in the same way as any member of the public who wishes to make a complaint, via channels such as the 105 phone or online report.
Issued by Police Media Centre