2 Jun 2015

Police: Giving out details could be prejudicial

8:42 pm on 2 June 2015

Police deny they are trying to protect Auckland staff members who have appeared in court, including one facing sex charges.

Glenn Dunbier is heading the police investigation.

Police deputy commissioner Glenn Dunbier said giving out further details of the court cases involving staff members could be prejudicial. Photo: RNZ

Nine officers and two non-sworn staff working in the Waitemata, Counties Manukau and Auckland City districts appeared in court between April 2014 and April 2015 facing serious charges.

Kelvin Davis

Labour MP Kelvin Davis Photo: SUPPLIED

Four of the nine officers are still before the courts on charges relating to assaulting women and children.

Documents released to Radio New Zealand under the Official Information Act reveal one non-sworn police staff member has been charged with rape and unlawful sexual connection relating to a female over the age of 16.

When asked for further details about the employee, Police National Headquarters refused, saying there was a risk of the person being identified. It also declined to say whether or not that employee had been stood down.

Deputy commissioner Glenn Dunbier said he also did not know whether that employee still had their job or which police district they worked in.

He denied his comments were stonewalling and said giving out details could be prejudicial to the victims or alleged offenders.

However he told Morning Report there was every likelihood that in these types of cases people would be immediately stood down and most likely suspended.

Mr Dunbier said the reputation of police and the public's trust and confidence were very important. "And that is why we do prosecute police staff where appropriate," he said.

"We're in an organisation of 12,000 people and whilst I'm aware of matters that we have staff before the court I don't know the detail specifically," he told Morning Report.

The Police Association also rejected the suggestion that the police were protecting their own.

It said, in fact, staff were subject to greater scrutiny than others and were often "overcharged".

The association's president, Greg O'Connor, said the number of police appearing before the courts showed the police did not cover things up.

'Police need to be seen as transparent'

Labour police spokesperson Kelvin Davis said it was unacceptable for police to refuse to give details to the media about the non-sworn staff member facing sex charges.

Kelvin Davis said the Minister of Police should comment on the serious charges.

"It would be unacceptable if they're hiding things just to save embarrassment to their own reputations or to the commissioner or to the minister," he said.

"The police need to be seen as transparent and as open as possible."

Police Minister Michael Woodhouse has been unavailable for comment.

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