19 Aug 2016

Kaitaia woman left terrified after no-show from police

6:28 pm on 19 August 2016

Police have admitted they botched their handling of a 111 call from a Kaitaia woman who feared a home invasion, after she was followed in her car at night.

The woman, who was too afraid to be named, told RNZ she was pursued after leaving work last Saturday night.

She managed to lose her stalker by driving at high speeds on back roads and arrived at her rural home in a panic, and called police.

The woman said she and her two teenage children sat up all night armed with a softball bat, fearing a home invasion and waiting for a police car that never came.

"I thought they would have contacted me by now, or made some attempt," she said.

"But there's been nothing. I would hate for this to happen to someone else; no-one should have to go through that."

The Kaitaia woman said the morning after she was followed, she found someone had written the words 'Follow Me' in dust on the back window of her car, which had left her more afraid.

She said there was something wrong with the police after-hours service and emergency communication systems.

"They need to look at their systems and rectify it, get it sorted," she said.

"At the end of the day, they could have been dealing with something a whole lot worse."

Far North police have apologised to the woman, saying their response did not meet the usual standard of putting victims first.

Acting area commander Inspector Riki Whiu said it appeared the details of the call were not dispatched to the police in Kaitaia.

He said it was disappointing a further communication breakdown meant the woman had not been contacted by police since.

Mr Whiu said they were now trying to contact the woman and arrange a meeting.

Police were criticised earlier this week after a man was found dead in Kaitaia after police took 43 minutes to respond to an emergency call.