Almost 2000 complaints against police in first half of this year

Bad language was the most reported complaint. PHOTO/Bay of Plenty Times
Bad language was the most reported complaint. PHOTO/Bay of Plenty Times

Dog bites, bullying, dangerous driving and tasers are some of the reasons people have complained about police in the first six months of the year.

Figures released today, show that 1949 allegations were made against police between January 1 and June 30, involving 1680 police staff in 1312 incidents.

Of the 1312 incidents, 1004 investigations were concluded and 143 were upheld.

National Manager Police Professional Conduct Superintendent Anna Jackson said police set high professional standards.

"The vast majority of our staff act in accordance with police's values and only a small number of complaints received are upheld."

Bad language earned the police the largest chunk of their complaints with 252 allegations of unprofessional attitude or language. But service failure was the largest category with 610 allegations, followed by unprofessional behaviour (364), use of force on duty (188), breach of official conduct (166) and arrest and custodial incidents (111).

Out of the districts, Wellington had the most incidents (159), with Canterbury (135) and Counties Manukau (129) coming next. However, the number of staff vary between districts and this will be reflected in the varying number of complaints.

Jackson said police will proactively release information about complaints against members of staff quarterly.

"We recognise that despite the best of intentions, individual staff members and or the organisation as a whole don't always get it right, so complaints are inevitable.

"The complaints process provides an opportunity for us to learn and improve."

This year is on track to have the largest number of complaints in the past five years. In 2015 there were 2757 incidents, 2665 in 2014, 2264 in 2013, 2109 in 2012 and 2248 in 2011.

Complaints this year include when police were accused of falsifying theft claims against missing boatie Kerry Blair to get his cellphone text data released. A complaint was lodged with the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA)

- NZ Herald

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