Please attribute to Assistant Commissioner: Investigations, Richard Chambers:
Police acknowledge the findings by the Independent Police Conduct Authority relating to allegations of sexual offending by a Police officer in the early 2000s.
In December 2017, Police charged now former Detective Inspector Kevin Burke after two women made allegations of historic sexual offending.
Police carried out a thorough investigation into the complaints. When the investigation was complete, the information gathered was considered with the Solicitors General’s guidelines. Police consulted with and sought advice from the Crown prior to deciding to lay two charges of indecent assault and two of sexual violation against Mr Burke.
This matter was heard in the Auckland High Court and Mr Burke was acquitted on all charges. We acknowledge the decision of the Jury.
Mr Burke retired from New Zealand Police in August 2019.
The IPCA carried out two separate investigations; one into the alleged offending and a second into a complaint regarding the Police’s handling of the investigation.
Assistant Commissioner; Investigations, Richard Chambers says Police is limited in what we can say due to suppression orders and privacy considerations but we would like to acknowledge the officers who worked on this investigation.
“Police treat any allegations involving the conduct of a Police officer extremely seriously. After Police became aware of the complaints, staff from a different part of the country were brought in for the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest.
“These officers did an excellent job of investigating a complex, sensitive and historical case. They were focussed on the well-being of the complainants and provided as much ongoing support as possible throughout the investigation process.
“Any sexual assault case will always be treated by our staff with the utmost respect, professionalism and empathy. Of course there can always be learnings for our officers and our organisation and we accept that.
“Police’s role was to put the best available evidence before the Courts to enable it to reach a decision.”
Police will not be commenting further.
Shelley Nahr/NZ Police