Police acknowledge the IPCA’s findings into officers’ actions during an arrest in Napier in January last year.
Shortly before midnight on Friday 4 January 2019, Police pursued a stolen Mazda in Napier for approximately 25 minutes.
During that time they deployed road spikes to deflate the Mazda’s tyres, following which the vehicle crashed and came to a stop.
The front passenger, a 13-year-old boy, got out and ran away.
An officer chased after him and shouted at him to stop.
The boy kept running, but then turned around and faced the officer.
The boy had a hammer in his hand and a Taser was deployed, however in this instance it was unsuccessful.
The boy was subsequently restrained by officers and taken into custody. At a later date the boy reported he had felt kicks to his head during the arrest.
While the use of the Taser was found to be justified, the IPCA ruled that the use of force during the arrest was unjustified.
Hawke’s Bay Area Commander Inspector Jeanette Park says Police come to work every day to keep the community safe, and are often required to make decisions to ensure that safety for the public and for our people.
This incident involved an offender who officers deemed presented a significant risk to their safety at that time.
“Police take any complaint regarding staff conduct seriously, and any information is investigated thoroughly,” says Inspector Park.
Through our own robust investigation based on evidence available, Police were not able to establish the boy’s injuries were as a result of any use of force other than the force the officers stated they used to restrain the boy during his arrest.
Following this incident, our staff were debriefed, and lessons learned have been implemented.