Sunday, May 19, 2024

IPCA finds alleged sex assault investigation was ‘inadequate’

NZ Police has acknowledged the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) which found an investigation into an alleged sexual assault was inadequate.

In October 2019, officers responded to an Auckland property following an allegation a sexual assault had occurred against a woman during a rental property viewing.

“A man was promptly taken into custody after officers arrived at the scene,” Police said in a statement.

“He was interviewed at the Avondale Police station, before being charged with threatening to kill and assault with the intention to commit rape.”

The charges remained in place until 5 February 2021, before being withdrawn.

Police reviewed the matter internally alongside the IPCA’s own separate investigation.

Acting Superintendent Sunny Patel, Acting Auckland City District Commander, says Police acknowledge and accept the IPCA’s findings.

“While the initial arrest at the scene was justified, we accept the findings around the subsequent assessment and supervision over the case,” A/Supt Patel said.

“If a more thorough assessment of the evidence had been carried out by Police at the time, as required by the Solicitor-Generals’ Prosecution Guidelines, it is likely we would have discovered the woman’s allegations warranted further investigation.

“This ultimately meant the charges against the man were before the Courts for significantly longer than they should have been.”

New Zealand Police has since apologised in person to the man in relation to this incident.

Acting Superintendent Patel says following a comprehensive review, Police acknowledge there was a lack of oversight and guidance of this matter by the relevant supervisors, which should not have occurred.

“This has been managed as a performance issue with the staff involved and clear expectations have been set moving forward,” he said.

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