30 Jul 2016

Man compensated $5k for wrongful arrest

6:51 am on 30 July 2016


A Northland man who was wrongly arrested for breaching a protection order he knew nothing about has settled a compensation claim with the police.

The 55-year-old man told RNZ in August last year that a police officer turned up at his house early in the evening of 21 March, and asked him whether he had seen his ex-partner that day.

He denied seeing her, and was then asked if he had been to a particular street.

The man said he had dropped his 10-year-old daughter at a friend's house on the street earlier in the afternoon.

"He put me under arrest and I asked him what for? And he said, 'breach of a protection order'.

"I said I don't know anything about a protection order. And he said, 'Well, that's fine, it's been made without notice'."

"He [the police officer] said 'that's hardly fair' as the order would've had to have been served on me for me to know about it."

The 55-year-old was held in a police cell for about an hour before an officer dropped him home.

He was subsequently served with the order - he then laid a complaint on 24 April.

Four months later, a senior officer paid him a visit and offered him a formal apology on the police's behalf for the "administrative error relating to his arrest".

In a statement to RNZ, the Whangarei Area Commander, Inspector Justin Rogers, confirmed a settlement of $5000 had been made this week.

He said an internal enquiry to establish how the error happened had found the arresting officer acted on incorrect information about the status of the man's order.