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

Police officer accused of supplying prisoners

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A west Auckland police officer is facing 35 charges of supplying prisoners with contraband.

Lovotale Perese, a 43-year-old constable, appeared in the Waitakere District Court this afternoon following his arrest earlier in the day.

Between February and July this year he allegedly supplied male and female prisoners with contraband including tobacco, cannabis, lighters and tattoo ink.

He was charged by police under the Corrections Act and the Misuse of Drugs Act for causing the items to be brought into Mt Eden and Auckland Women's Prison with the intent the items would come into possession of prisoners.

Perese appeared before Judge Eddie Paul, who refused to grant name suppression.

The charges follow a "lengthy and robust'' investigation led by police with support from the Department of Corrections, police said in a statement this afternoon.

Perese worked as a prisoner escort at Henderson Police Station, the statement said.

"The allegations against Mr Perese are serious and will be very disappointing to all those staff in police who uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism``said Waitemata District Commander, Superintendent Bill Searle.

"Public trust and confidence in police is vital and today's arrest demonstrates that police staff are held to account under the law just as any other member of the public is.''

Perese has been immediately stood down from work.

"As this is now before the court I am unable to go into details about the allegations or the investigation. However I can say this is also a serious Code of Conduct matter and consideration is also being given to implications for the Constable's pay and ongoing employment with police,'' Mr Searle said.

The charges laid against Perese demonstrate that police will take firm and decisive action against staff facing allegations of criminal offending, he said.

- NZ Herald

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