Source: New Zealand Police (District News)
Please attribute to Superintendent Naila Hassan, Waitematā District Commander:
Police note the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority into an incident where an intoxicated, aggressive man was arrested in Takapuna in 2018.
On November 30, 2018, six officers from the Waitematā Police Support Unit carried out a licensed premise check of a bar in Takapuna. When they arrived, the intoxicated man was arguing with security staff and became abusive towards the officers.
He ignored the officers when they asked him to move on, swearing in their faces and at one point grabbing one of the officers by the vest and raising his hand as if to punch him.
He was arrested for disorderly behaviour, but was so uncooperative with Police that three officers had to assist with arresting him and taking him into custody. Two of his friends, who were also highly intoxicated and obstructive, were also arrested and taken back to the Henderson Custody Unit.
Police accept the Authority’s findings that Police were justified in arresting the man, and the force used by the arresting officers was lawful and reasonable given the circumstances.
Police maintain there is no evidence to suggest the man was punched while a search was later conducted, based on the accounts of all officers present and the inconsistencies in the man’s own account.
Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan says while there are some learnings to be taken away from the incident, such as ensuring searches are carried out at the earliest opportunity, officers acted to the best of their ability given the situation they faced:
“Police officers face situations every day where their safety is at put at risk, and in this case they were subject to abuse and were dealing with an intoxicated, very aggressive person when they were just doing their jobs.”
Four of the six officers remain working as valued members of Police, while two have since left the organisation for unrelated reasons.
Adriana Weber/NZ Police