Police acknowledge the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) which found multiple failings in relation to nine firearms which were disposed of incorrectly by Waitematā Police in 2017.
The firearms were surrendered to Police in January 2017 by a member of the public after he was served with a temporary protection order, however when the order was discharged and he came to pick them up from the North Shore Policing Centre, the firearms could not be located.
Police self-reported the matter to the IPCA immediately and carried out its own investigation.
Our investigation found that Police had inadequate procedures in place and that at least four of the firearms were inadvertently destroyed in August 2017. It is also highly likely that the five outstanding firearms were also destroyed in error.
Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan says Police has since apologised to the man involved and he will be compensated for the loss of his firearms. The details of this are confidential.
“We acknowledge the IPCA’s finding in relation to this matter and all of the evidence points to the fact the firearms were inadvertently destroyed. Police has since modified our process to ensure that this does not happen again.”
“Following this incident a full audit was undertaken in mid-2018 and we can say confidently that all other firearms were accounted for and it would appear this was a one-off mistake,” says Supt. Hassan.
“We regret that this incident took place, however our staff are only human and errors can occur from time-to-time. I fully support them and the work that they do.”
“The staff involved remain working for the organisation,” says Supt. Hassan.
Police is currently in the process of developing an electronic system to manage exhibits which will apply to seized and surrendered firearms which would ensure this type of mistake is not repeated.
Shelley Nahr/NZ Police