21 Jun 2012

Police stopped from going on to bailed man's property

8:56 pm on 21 June 2012

A lawyer who has used an old rule stopping police going on to the property of a man on bail and waking him up, says it may lead to an increase in electronic tagging.

Aubrey Toheriri's lawyer has written to police revoking an implied licence, which allows anyone to go onto a property to make an inquiry.

Mr Toheriri, 23, has been charged with assault and theft and his bail conditions mean he must stay at home in the suburb of Mirimar, in Wellington, between 10pm and 10am.

His lawyer, Douglas Ewen, says the police may now change the way they monitor offenders and the actions of police had not been fair to Mr Toheriri or his family.

Mr Ewen said bail conditions are not come kind of crime control measure.

'Their principal function is to make sure that people turn up to court on the right day.

"It is not necessary that there be an additional monitoring requirement that the police can go round and do something as intrusive as knock them up once, or sometimes twice, in the same night."

Police can now only visit the house if they have a search warrant or other legal authority.

They say they're assessing the implications of the letter and how to respond.

Minister concerned

The Minister of Police says she is concerned the safety of the public could be affected if police are stopped from making such checks.

Anne Tolley says the lawyer's actions could have implications.

"My main concern is around public safety and how this affects the safety of communities if the police are unable to do what they've done in the past when someone's on bail."

She says she has asked for advice on the matter.