24 May 2023

Police criticised for lack of action over claims of abuse of recruits

From Checkpoint, 5:12 pm on 24 May 2023

Police have been criticised for failing to adequately respond to allegations of sexual abuse from recruits.

Police trainees made seven complaints over a period of 15 years about a Police Medical Officer who conducted routine examinations on recruits.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority says police failed to act, and continued sending recruits to the doctor, despite the complaints.

It was not until a formal complaint was made in 2017 that police launched a criminal investigation.

That found there was insufficient evidence to charge the doctor. The IPCA says given the complaints spanned 15 years - police should have acted sooner.

Deputy Commissioner Tania Kura talks to Susana Lei'ataua.