Source: New Zealand Police (District News)
Police acknowledge the findings of an IPCA report into an incident where four occupants were lawfully detained during a search warrant at an address in Auckland in 2019.
At around 2.45am on February 9, 2019, Police were notified of an aggravated robbery incident involving a firearm at a bar in Pakuranga.
Around 30 minutes later, a member of the public in the same area reported someone with a firearm had knocked on their door and tried to steal their car.
Shortly before 3.30am, Eagle observed a man with a firearm in the backyard of their house, across the road from the attempted car theft. Eagle staff believed the weapon to be a high-powered rifle with a scope.
Shortly after 5am the address was entered by AOS staff and the four occupants were called out of the property and detained by Police.
A search of the property was completed and an air rifle was located.
One of the individuals spoken to told Police he had walked outside with the long-barrelled air rifle to intimidate anyone on his property and he was spoken to about the manner in which he was using his firearm.
Police were satisfied the occupants were not involved in the aggravated robbery and the occupants were released before 7am.
The IPCA has found that Police had lawful grounds to detain the occupants during the search warrant at the property. However it found the length of time the occupants were detained was unreasonable and the manner of their detention was unlawful.
Superintendent Jill Rogers, Counties Manukau District Commander, says Police accept the IPCA’s findings into this matter and note the officers were acting lawfully when detaining the occupants during the search warrant.
“We accept the manner in which these individuals were detained and the length of time this took place was not ideal and there are lessons that can be learned for our staff in future.
“It’s important to note that our staff were acting with the best of intentions to keep our community safe. They were responding to information that a person was in possession of a firearm and they had to ensure there was no risk to the public.
“Our officers explained to these occupants why they were being detained and after the search was completed an attending officer apologised for any unease as a result of AOS attending the property,” says Superintendent Rogers.
Nick Baker/NZ Police