Police recruit being investigated

By Elizabeth Binning

A police recruit is under investigation after allegations that he tried to commit a burglary while attending the police college.

The Herald understands the recruit was stood down when the attempted-burglary allegations came to light, part-way through his 19-week course. The rest of his colleagues graduated without him early last month.

Police spokesman Jon Neilson confirmed the recruit was the subject of a criminal investigation that stemmed from a domestic issue. "As the nature of these allegations is subject to investigation we are unable to comment further."

National police training manager Alistair Beckett said there were still three or four matters that needed to be looked into before the investigation would be complete. If the allegations were not proved, the recruit would probably be allowed to return to the Porirua college. Alternatively he could face charges if there was evidence of an attempted burglary.

"There's a lot of water to flow under the bridge and it's just too early to speculate which way it will go."

The recruit is not the first to be the subject of a criminal investigation at the college. Last year a recruit was arrested after his fingerprints - taken during a training exercise and entered into the national crime database - matched an unsolved serious assault.

In June this year a recruit allegedly assaulted another recruit with a bottle in the college bar. The man tendered his resignation from police college and is facing charges.

Mr Beckett said he wanted the public to know they could have confidence in the college and the way matters were handled.

Meanwhile, 46 constables will graduate from the college today. Among them is a man who won a bravery award for trying to save the life of a young woman who was set alight at a petrol station.

Constable Kali Fungavaka, who decided to join the police after seeing how the officers handled the situation, will be posted to Otahuhu where the incident happened.

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