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Shortcomings in Police record-keeping highlighted in IPCA decision

‘Police acknowledge the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority report into concerns about the accuracy of information recorded in Police systems,’ said Superintendent Shanan Gray, Relieving Waitematā District Commander in a statement.

Two officers visited a male in September 2020 on two occasions following a historic report of alleged inappropriate behaviour during piano lessons towards the complainant who was a child at the time.

While the complainant did not want to press charges, they supported Police speaking to the male involved in what Police call prevention visits.

Although notes were not taken in the presence of the male during the prevention visits, notes were recorded by the officers in either a Police notebook, or directly into Police’s National Intelligence Application soon after.

The IPCA investigation found the attending officers should have taken contemporaneous notes during these visits rather than relying on their memories after leaving the address.

A month later, the male involved made a Police vetting application in relation to a job prospect. The vetting information contained details taken from the notes, which the complainant said were inaccurate.

The Authority found these details, which were used and provided during vetting, had not been substantiated and should not have been disclosed by the Police Vetting Service.

The Police Vetting Panel reviewed the information provided and implemented some changes, however the IPCA have found that further amendments are required.

Police note the original vetting request has since been withdrawn and subsequently closed by Police.

‘Police are constantly reviewing our practices to ensure the most accurate information is recorded.

‘Although we have taken learnings from this incident, Police remain confident that the officers acted professionally, in good faith, and had community safety at the forefront of their minds when recording the outcome of this complaint.’

Both officers involved remain employed by NZ Police.

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Source:NZ Police

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