Police have accepted the findings by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) in relation to complaints of inappropriate sexual behaviour by an Auckland District Court custody officer in 2018.
The IPCA found that the custody officer acted criminally when he repeatedly behaved in an unwanted and sexually inappropriate manner towards a colleague in 2018. The custody officer also subjected two other colleagues to this type of behaviour.
“When we were alerted to this behaviour, Police notified the IPCA and the custody officer was stood down while we began a thorough investigation into the matter,” says Relieving Auckland City District Commander, Superintendent Shanan Gray.
“Our investigation found a pattern of behaviour that did not meet Police values and the custody officer was convicted on two charges of male assaults female.”
The IPCA also found that the custody officer acted inappropriately in other ways, such as using a gang call within hearing of the custody unit and sharing workplace video recordings on Snapchat.
The custody officer is no longer employed by NZ Police.
“We’re incredibly disappointed by the behaviour of this individual and as soon as senior Police leaders were made aware of the behaviour it was investigated and addressed,” said Supt Gray.
“Our people who were subjected to this behaviour have been well supported throughout the investigation and we have been working on a number of initiatives, aimed at improving the culture within our custody unit.”
The Authority said it was concerned about the wider culture of the custody unit as it transpired that other colleagues knew of the officer’s inappropriate behaviour and allowed it to continue. Senior Police officers addressed his behaviour as soon as they were made aware of it, the IPCA found.
“I am satisfied that, since the custody officer’s conduct came to light, Police have been working to improve the culture at the Auckland District Court Custody Unit and that they will continue to do so,” said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.
The Authority completed its investigation into this incident in February 2020 but delayed the release of its public report until after the conclusion of related court proceedings.