25 Feb 2020

IPCA says use of force on man was appropriate

12:27 pm on 25 February 2020

The police watchdog has backed the use of force by four officers who arrested a Tauranga man in 2018.

Tauranga Hospital

Tauranga Hospital Photo: RNZ

The man, who was hospitalised after taking a large quantity of drugs and suffering a medical episode, was then found with drugs in Tauranga Hospital and put under police guard. But once discharged he refused to accompany officers to the police station.

A violent scuffle that lasted several minutes before he was restrained concerned hospital staff so much that they reported it to police.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority today said "that the force used by the officers to restrain and remove the man was appropriate to deal with his violent resistance and the threat he posed."

But it said it was clear the man would likely resist arrest and the acting police sergeant failed to communicate a plan to hospital staff to prevent disruption.

In a statement, police said the officers involved in the arrest all received further training.

"Police also worked with Tauranga Hospital staff after the incident to agree a new protocol to deal with situations when patients who are under arrest or who are going to be arrested are discharged and removed from hospital."