Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Police sex scandal worsens

Bullying complaints emerge after police send lewd videos at Auckland Central

Police staff have been stood down. Photo / Hagen Hopkins
Police staff have been stood down. Photo / Hagen Hopkins

The police unit rocked by allegations two staff tried to entice a woman into a sexual tryst by sending her lewd footage is also under investigation over bullying allegations.

The Weekend Herald yesterday revealed a male officer and female civilian were stood down on full pay in March after allegedly filming themselves in a sex act in work time and sending it to their colleague.

The Herald on Sunday can reveal the pair are Sergeant Neil Barton and Jo Rankin. Rankin, 37, has since resigned. She had worked for police for 12 years and was the second-in-charge of the file management centre at Auckland central police station.

In documents seen by the Herald on Sunday, staff at the unit were told at a meeting in March that Barton and Rankin had been stood down over "sexual harassment and bullying" allegations. The matter is being investigated, and the pair could not be reached for comment.

Yesterday it emerged another manager at the file management centre has been accused of a campaign of bullying against two other staff, who have made an internal police employment complaint.

The two staff members allege they were bullied between 2008 and 2014, and faced severe emotional and physical harm as a result.

The pair claimed when they took their concerns to managers, they were not taken seriously. They called in an employment lawyer who filed an official complaint with the Police National Headquarters human resources manager.

Employment lawyer Jane Latimer confirmed she was representing both complainants but declined to comment further.

"The matter is in a legal situation and it would be wholly inappropriate to say anything."

In a statement, Auckland City District Commander Superintendent Mike Clement said: "I can confirm that two staff have raised a grievance with regard to their working environment. Consequently we are engaging with those directly involved by following established and appropriate employment relations processes.

"It is inappropriate to conduct employment investigations in the public domain or to compromise the privacy of anyone involved. There is a natural justice process to follow and if, at the conclusion of that process and after careful consideration of the facts and evidence gathered, it is determined that workplace changes are required, they will be carried out."

- Herald on Sunday

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