Police acknowledge the findings by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to the care of a man who was taken into Police custody in September 2019.
Police had been called to an address in Manurewa after the man was reported to have been shouting, swearing, and possibly assaulting his partner.
When our officers arrived at the scene, they found the man asleep on the driveway.
Once woken, he became aggressive and uncooperative. Police were told he was possibly under the influence of drugs.
Officers attempted to call for an ambulance but were told it was going to take some time to arrive. A decision was made to take the man back to the Counties Manukau District Custody Unit.
The IPCA has found the officers should have taken him straight to a hospital. They also found that once he arrived at the custody unit he was not adequately monitored or given appropriate care.
The man was eventually taken to hospital where he was kept overnight and was released the following day.
Police self-referred this matter to the IPCA.
Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers says Police accepts the standard of care given to this man was not good enough.
“While the staff were all working with good intent, there was definitely areas for improvement relating to this incident.
“Since this occurred, Police has implemented significant changes to the Custody Unit,” says Supt. Rogers.
“We now have a Senior Sergeant based in the Counties Manukau District Custody Unit at all times, as well as replacing our Prisoner Escort vans with custom-built vans which have individual cells and live feed CCTV included where those in our custody are constantly monitored by staff.”
We are also are continuing to work closely with our partners including the DHB around how best to deal with people who come into our care and require medical assistance.
“Police custody units can be very challenging for our staff and the work can be fast moving and very complicated. Overall, our staff do an excellent job of providing care to those who we come across but there are situations such as this one where it’s important that we learn from where we went wrong.”
Shelley Nahr/NZ Police