Anna Leask

Anna Leask is a police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Westie cop in strife over colleague's sex claims

Waitemata police bosses began a criminal investigation into the allegation and suspended Mr English. Photo / File
Waitemata police bosses began a criminal investigation into the allegation and suspended Mr English. Photo / File

Police have revealed more details about the investigation into a West Auckland cop alleged to have exposed himself to a female colleague at a recent work function.

The Herald reported exclusively today that Henderson-based Sergeant Brent English was investigated after a junior policewoman, relatively new to the force, complained to management about his behaviour.

The allegations included claims he approached her at a police function, exposed his private parts and made a suggestive comment to her.

Waitemata police bosses began a criminal investigation into the allegation and suspended Mr English.

They confirmed this morning that "as part of the wider investigation" into the initial complaint, a female member of the public was also spoken to about a similar alleged incident.

She was also at a police function Mr English was attending.

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Several sources confirmed yesterday that the investigation was complete and it was unlikely criminal charges would be laid. However the file was now being reviewed by the police legal unit before a final decision would be made.

A Code of Conduct inquiry was also under way and it is understood Mr English would not return to work until that was complete.

He is likely to be on full pay while he is off work, which is standard for officers stood down while they are under investigation.

Waitemata District Commander Superintendent Bill Searle refused to answer specific questions about the allegations, the number of complaints and the investigation.

However he confirmed the details in a brief statement.

"A constabulary member of the Henderson Police station has been stood down following allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff.

"The individual is currently subject to both a criminal and an employment investigation."

He said allegations of inappropriate behaviour by police were taken "extremely seriously".

"We will not hesitate to take action against staff who face these allegations. There is no room whatsoever for this type of alleged behaviour in the New Zealand Police and it simply will not be tolerated.

"As the matter is now the subject of both a criminal and an employment investigation no further comment will be made."

It is understood Mr English is being represented by lawyer Richard Earwaker, who did not respond to the Herald yesterday.

In recent years several West Auckland police officers have appeared in the dock on a variety of charges including assault, bribery and corruption in a drugs case, and providing contraband to prisoners.

- NZ Herald

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