Attribute to Inspector Matt Srhoj, Relieving Counties Manukau District Commander:
Police acknowledge the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority report into the use of force by a custody officer in the Counties Manukau Custody Unit in August 2021.
In the evening of 9 June 2021, Police received a complaint from someone being held in the Custody Unit that they had been assaulted by a custody officer. Police accept the matter was not followed up in the correct manner at the time.
Two months later, in August 2021, the same person was transferred back to the Custody Unit, where he seriously assaulted a custody officer. Several staff were subsequently required to restrain him.
During the restraint, the assaulted custody officer reengaged with the man and attempted to punch and kick him.
As a result of the incident, the custody officer received medical treatment following the incident where he was diagnosed with concussion.
In its findings, the authority found Police should have investigated the June incident. Police acknowledge and accept this finding. As a result, we are in the process of making improvements to the complaints process.
We acknowledge the IPCA found the custody officer was justified in the initial striking of the individual during the August attack, before he was restrained.
Police note there is still an ongoing employment investigation into this matter. As such, Police are not in a position to comment further while this process is being carried out.
Anna Thompson/NZ Police