More than 200 police staff - from recruits right up to senior inspectors and top cops - have faced criminal charges in the last few years, including for drugs, fraud, serious physical and sexual assaults, kidnapping, family harm and driving offences.
From the start of 2015 to the end of October 2022 a total of 213 constabulary and non-sworn staff were charged with criminal offending.
Police provided the information on charges to the Herald under the Official Information Act.
The information stated that 213 staff faced 274 charges arising from 207 “incidents”.
In some cases, employees faced multiple charges.
Of the total charges 82 convictions were recorded, 157 were discharged, dismissed, withdrawn or acquitted after a trial before a jury or judge alone.
A number of cases are still ongoing and before the courts.
The most common charges were for:
- Manner of driving
- Serious assault
- Grievous assault
- Alcohol and drug-impaired driving
- Sexual attacks
- Minor assaults
- Computer crime
There were only three homicide incidents involving five staff. Homicide charges include murder, manslaughter and attempted murder.
Other charges related to communication abuses, disorder, drugs, family harm, firearms, intimidation and threats, kidnapping, property damage, sexual affronts, speed camera offences ad trespass.
Some staff were also charged with breaching New Zealand legislation including the Immigration Act, Inland Revenue Act and Resource Management Act.
Police would not give the Herald information on the district where the individuals charged were located.
“Providing this in combination with some of the ranks - for instance, Inspectors and above - could readily identify the individual,” said superintendent Jason Guthrie, national director for integrity and conduct.
While the identities of many of the offending and accused officers cannot be published, there have been some high-profile cases in 2022 and in previous years that the Herald has covered.
Sloss, 31, allegedly repeatedly stole money while at work - from as little as $20 to $300.
Her case remains before the courts and she is due to appear again in 2023.
She is facing eight charges of allegedly having control of property in circumstances that she knew required her to deal with the property in accordance with the requirements of any person, namely superintendent Lane Todd and intentionally dealt with the property otherwise and committed theft.
She also faces five charges relating to allegedly accessing a computer system, namely the police National Intelligence Application and the police record of property application and thereby dishonestly and without claim of right obtained a pecuniary advantage.
The total amount allegedly stolen is $1100. The offending allegedly occurred between November 2021 and April 2022.
If convicted Sloss faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
David Lane, 69, died on Stancombe Rd, Flat Bush on September 17 after he was hit by a car driven by Jada Manase.
Manase, 22, was off duty at the time.
She had not long graduated from Police College when the fatal incident occurred.
Court documents obtained by the Herald show Manase pleaded guilty to being in charge of a vehicle when she caused Lane’s death while her breath alcohol limit was over the legal limit.
She recorded a reading of 600 micrograms per litre of breath - the legal limit is 250.
The documents show the officer lived about a three-minute drive from the scene of the crash.
Manase also pleaded guilty to carelessly operating a vehicle, with a maximum penalty of a $3000 fine.
Police are carrying out an internal professional conduct inquiry into Manase’s offending.
The matter has also been referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.
Manase will be sentenced in January 2023.
In November another Auckland officer was sentenced to home detention after a drink-driving incident.
After being caught driving over the legal alcohol limit Bo Wang, 33, snuck into a police station to destroy his own evidential blood samples in a bid to avoid a prosecution.
Wang had been a cop for four years and had earlier worked in a drink-driving prevention team.
He was caught drink-driving in central Auckland after a visit to a karaoke bar on July 24.
At a breath-testing checkpoint blew 501mcg of alcohol per litre of breath, double the legal limit.
He later used a colleague’s swipe card to access the Harbour Bridge police station to burgle his blood samples, then take them home and tip them down the toilet, meaning drink-driving charges could not be brought against him.
Wang quickly admitted his offending when it was uncovered by colleagues.
He resigned from the police after he was charged.
In previous years there have been other police officers before the courts for a variety of crimes.
The offending happened at a Kerikeri motel during the early hours of February 5 2019 when Foster and the victim were part of a group deployed to help police the annual Waitangi Day events at the Treaty Grounds.
Foster denied the charges, claiming any sexual contact with the victim was consensual and a “pre-arranged hook-up”.
But after two-week trial in the Auckland District Court a jury found him guilty on both counts.
At sentencing, the victim said Foster was “sick, self-entitled” and had arrogant needs.
“I trusted you, I thought you were a nice person, a colleague, a team member and workmate,” she said.
“This is not a story of lies, regret or a false complaint, this is a story of sexual assault.”
Judge Evangelos Thomas told Foster that the evidence against him left no doubt.
Further, he said the evidence did not leave open the possibility it was anything other than rape, or mistaken belief in consent.
“You raped her as she slept,” he told the offender.
“She woke when she felt the pain.”
Judge Thomas said Foster breached his workmate’s trust and the trust the public places in its police officers.
More CCTV footage from the night of the sexual assault also revealed lewd behaviour by several other police officers staying at the motel.
It included footage of a senior sergeant exposing himself and a drinking game using a hollowed-out police baton.
Foster was stood down from the police after the allegations emerged and a separate employment investigation was conducted.
He is no longer a police officer.
South Auckland police officer Gavin Giles was caught having a sexually inappropriate online relationship with a young teenage girl in Texas.
In February 2019 the 47-year-old was sentenced to eight months home detention after pleading guilty to a charge of indecent communication with a person under 16.
He left the police soon after the charges were laid.
Judge David Sharp revealed Giles sent indecent photos to the girl and said his offending was “premeditated” and “had an aspect of grooming and sexual predator behaviour”.
The offending began in May 2017 when Giles connected with the girl through social media app Instagram.
He was 46 at the time and the girl was just 13.
The young teen was described in court as “troubled” and had mental health issues, including bipolar and borderline personality disorder.
Giles was open about the fact he was a police officer and his Instagram profile had a photograph of him in uniform.
Judge Sharp said Giles established the girl’s age in the “initial stage” of the online relationship and “acknowledged she was young”.
He told her she was “beautiful” and they chatted every day for the first month.
Then Giles and the girl started to communicate through Snapchat and video calls.
He told her to send photographs of herself and she complied - providing images of herself in a bra, then a bikini.
She later sent photographs of her breasts and buttocks - in return, Giles sent her “indecent” photos of himself.
He also made explicit comments, said he loved her and that he would assist her to travel to New Zealand to meet him once she turned 18.
The girl was also having indecent communications with a number of other men and when police in Texas started to investigate that - they found out about her relationship with Giles.
They passed the information on to police in New Zealand and Giles was charged soon after.
Auckland constable Gregory Fallon, known for his dramatic rescue of a drowning couple, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in February 2018.
Fallon escaped jail after he was convicted failing to pay just over $283,600 in tax.
He was sentenced to nine months’ home detention and 150 hours community work.
He resigned from police a month before the hearing.
An employment investigation was due to commence following the outcome of the court proceedings, however, the internal probe was scrapped when he left the force.
Fallon’s police career, which he served over two separate periods, was largely as a member of the Eagle helicopter crew and on police motorbikes.
He first made headlines in 2003 when he was one of two officers to leap from the helicopter to save a drowning couple, who had been lost at sea near Rangitoto Island.
He has also been credited with saving “many lives” as a surf lifesaver and placed his police career on hold to help with the Christchurch earthquake rebuild.
Away from police he was the sole director and shareholder of Asbestos Management New Zealand Limited, incorporated.
He was charged after he twice failed to pay large sums of tax owed by his two companies.
The total amount evaded during his 27 months of offending was just over $283,600.
Jeremy Malifa- who was married at the time and a father of three - stalked 21 women using information from the NIA in what Judge Heemi Taumaunu described as a “predatory manner”.
The women the Auckland constable pursued were largely witnesses and victims at crime scenes and incidents across Auckland which he’d attended as a police officer.
He had been illegally using the national intelligence application police database (NIA), which stores people’s personal details, vehicles, locations, phone numbers and offences.
Malifa gleaned information about the women’s personal lives and on one occasion even arrived unannounced at a victim’s front door.
Of the 21 total women he preyed upon, he would go on to start a sexual relationship with eight.
Malifa stalked another woman in 2014, which he took a fancy to. He began texting her but the woman did not respond to his advances.
Malifa was sentenced to 400 hours of community work, 12 months’ supervision, six months community detention and ordered to pay $200 to each of his victims.
“Your offending in this way is absolutely unacceptable. It was dishonest,” said Judge Taumaunu.
“Not only was it dishonest, you were manipulating victims who were already vulnerable as a result of your contact with them and you were taking advantage of them.”
He said Malifa was conducting his inquiries in a “predatory manner” and his conduct was “abusive” towards his victims.
“As a result of your offending it is an aggravating feature that you have now made it more difficult for females who are required to provide, or are requested to provide, information to male police officers to trust those male police officers in the future that they will not abuse the position of trust that they are in,” said the judge.
“You have brought shame and embarrassment to the police as a result of your actions.”
Invercargill constable Benjamin McLean was jailed for life after he executed his wife and tried to kill her new lover.
McLean admitted murdering his wife of 18 years, Verity McLean, on Anzac Day, 2017.
The mother of their three children died from a single gunshot to the head, less than three weeks after she told McLean she was leaving him for family friend, Garry Duggan.
McLean also pleaded guilty to attempting to murder Duggan.
On Anzac Day, after his wife had broken into the house they formerly shared to retrieve her belongings, he packed a bag and cycled to her new abode.
His rucksack contained a cut-down .22 rifle to which a silencer had been fixed with black insulation tape.
He had also packed blue disposable rubber gloves, a bottle of hand sanitiser, plastic handcuffs (the same type the Armed Offenders Squad uses), strips of towel and a portable radio tuned to the Invercargill police channel.
He shot Verity in the head and then lay in wait for Duggan.
McLean then shot the man twice, hitting him in the upper chest and the forearm.
The two struggled and Duggan wrestled the rifle from McLean.
McLean handed himself into the Invercargill police station, where he worked, 40 minutes after the shooting.
At his sentencing hearing McLean offered an apology to his three children and wider family.
“The real victims of this death are my three children. The two most important adults in their lives are now gone,” McLean said.
“Bert was the love of my life who broke my heart and my soul, and I will live with regret and the torment for having been involved in her death for the rest of my life.”
He must serve 17 years of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Hawkes Bay constable Shane Greville kept his job after he admitted careless driving causing injury after crashing his vintage car into an elderly woman’s vehicle while speeding.
Greville said he was “very remorseful” and acknowledged he had been “showing off” in his $89,000 1967 Chevrolet Camaro.
He was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for 10 months.
During the court process he was on restricted duties.
Other bad cops
In 2012 Karis Charnley - who featured in a television show about police recruits - appeared in the North Shore District Court on charged in relation to the theft of a Mitsubishi Evo worth $11,000.
The North Shore constable also faced a second charge of using a police uniform in circumstances likely to lead a person to believe she was a police employee.
Charnley was not physically involved in stealing the car, but was accused of supplying her own police uniform to those who were.
Her case was eventually dismissed by Judge Brian Callaghan due to a lack of hard evidence pinning her to the crime.
But he said he was not convinced she is innocent.
“I cannot say that I am convinced about the defendant’s explanation. I remain suspicious ... but I am unable to be sure that she took part in the pre-planning of the offending generally,” he said.
“So therefore I have reasonable doubt about this. The prosecution has failed to prove these charges beyond reasonable doubt, and they are dismissed.”
Charnley resigned from the police.
In 2010 West Auckland sergeant Martin Folan was charged with assaulting five prisoners in custody.
Police management began an investigation after colleagues approached them, concerned about Folan’s behaviour on duty.
In one of the alleged assaults, a man was so badly injured he had to have a testicle surgically removed.
At the trial the Crown alleged Folan had acted in anger when he elbowed a teenager in the face, banged a man’s head on the concrete floor of the police station, kicked a man in the groin and throttled another.
Folan’s defence was that the incidents never happened - or were accidents.
A jury heard from 27 witnesses, at least five said they saw Folan assault prisoners.
But after a six-hour deliberation, they acquitted him on all charges.
Folan wanted to return to the front line but eventually resigned after being suspended on pay for several years.
In 2010 two Auckland police officers were convicted of assaulting a drunk teenager.
Alan Douglas and Gareth Needham assaulted Joshua Hart, 18, who had been drinking with up to 50 people at a West Auckland park.
The charges followed complaints by two other officers who were sent there to disperse the crowd.
In court Hart gave evidence that Needham punched him in the head after he swore at the officer when he knocked a drink out of his hand.
Hart said he then tackled Needham and the two scuffled on the ground until he was restrained and arrested.
Needham then punched him in the head again and Douglas became involved when the teenager started insulting officers as he was being escorted to a police van.
Hart said Douglas “essentially lost control” and punched him in the face, possibly more than once.
The two police officers applied for a discharge without conviction after a restorative justice hearing with the victim.
Their application was declined with Judge Allison Sinclair ruling that the consequences of a conviction would not be out of all proportion to the offending.
She told Douglas that while the offending was at the lower end of the scale, “it was a gratuitous use of violence on someone that was handcuffed at the time” during him carrying out his duties as a police officer.
Judge Sinclair fined Douglas $600 but she did not fine Needham.