Use of force on woman justified

As stated by Central District Commander Superintendent Scott Fraser:

Police acknowledge the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report into the actions of Police officers while detaining a person in Taranaki last year.

On 18 April, two officers responded to a rural property where a woman appeared to be having a mental health crisis.

A decision was made to take her to hospital for a mental health evaluation.

The woman’s behaviour and demeanour became unpredictable, and a decision was made to handcuff her for her own safety and that of the officers.

Once in the Police vehicle, the woman attempted to kick the driver. She was restrained by the officer beside her, who wrapped his arm around her legs.

After being admitted to the mental health unit, the woman was diagnosed with a knee injury.

The IPCA found officers were justified in detaining the woman under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1991 and their use of force to put the woman in the patrol car and restrain her for the duration of the drive was reasonable and appropriate.

Police officers go to work every day to keep people safe, and part of this work involve incidents where people are in mental distress.

We trust our officers to make the best decisions possible at the time to ensure people’s safety and wellbeing, and routinely look at what lessons can be learned.

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