Detective in sex complaint demoted

By James Ihaka

A senior police detective has been demoted after a woman claimed she was harassed by him for sex while spying on a "P" drug-ring for police.

Superintendent Mark Lammas, Central District commander, told the Herald last night that an internal investigation had been carried out into allegations against Detective Sergeant Peter Govers.

"He was charged with a disciplinary offence of disgraceful conduct and as a result of that he was demoted and transferred to Palmerston North."

Mr Govers was head of the Horowhenua CIB and the officer in charge of an undercover operation which asked the woman to spy on drug dealers the same day her partner was jailed.

But Mr Govers began sending her text messages requesting sexual images, a police investigation found.

Mr Govers was demoted to the rank of senior constable. He cannot work as a detective for two years or seek promotion for a year.

Asked whether Mr Govers' punishment was severe enough in light of other high-profile police sex misdemeanour incidents, Mr Lammas said: "Each matter is considered on its merits. There will be matters connected with this that won't be in the public arena.

"The former detective sergeant has an otherwise unblemished record with the police and I suspect that was taken into account when the deputy commissioner made his decision."

Mr Lammas would not comment on the woman's relationship with police. "But there was a connection that meant that any relationship the former detective sergeant had with the woman outside a professional relationship was most inappropriate."

Although the relationship might have been consensual, Mr Govers' conduct was still seen as unacceptable.

The woman, known only as "Tania", told One News last night her family were ruined and she was considering seeking compensation. "They're people in authority and they didn't care about me. All they wanted me to do is do their dirty work."

Mr Govers told police he did not have sex with Tania and the police investigation made no ruling on whether the couple indulged in intimacies.

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