23 Jul 2020

Police admit officer's hair cutting assault on boy 'completely inappropriate'

2:03 pm on 23 July 2020

An Auckland police officer assaulted a teenage boy by cutting his hair without his permission.

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File image. Photo: 123RF

Police have acknowledged it was culturally disrespectful and completely inappropriate. The man remains a sworn police officer.

Sometime in 2018 - not specified by either police nor the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA), police stopped the boy after a pursuit involving a fleeing driver.

The unnamed male officer cut the 14-year-old's hair. Neither the police nor IPCA specified how much was cut off.

Police charged the officer with assault.

He pleaded guilty and was discharged without conviction after an appeal, indicating a judge earlier came to a different decision.

The IPCA said the officer and NZ Police had apologised to the boy, and acknowledged the assault was culturally disrespectful.

Auckland City District Commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus said: "Police acknowledge that the conduct of this officer on this occasion was completely inappropriate and unprofessional, and his actions were not in line with the values of NZ Police".

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