19 Jan 2016

Wrong call to give man bail - Collins

6:24 pm on 19 January 2016

It was the wrong call to put a man with a history of evading police on electronically monitored bail, Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.

Judith Collins.

Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mathew Kidman was on bail to a residence in Upper Hutt.

Mathew Kidman

Mathew Kidman Photo: SUPPLIED / NZ Police

He removed his electronic monitoring bracelet early on Friday morning and has been avoiding the police and his family since.

Police said he was potentially dangerous and they believed he had access to firearms.

Ms Collins told Checkpoint with John Campbell the Department of Corrections did not recommend Mr Kidman receive electronically monitored bail.

She also had no reason to believe the police were happy with that decision, she said.

"The fact is, it's not up to police or Corrections, it's up to a judge... This person has previously absconded, and you'd have to say it was an unusual decision but a judge has made that."

The minister estimated between 0.5 and 1 percent of all people monitored electronically removed the bracelets.

"So we're talking a tiny number. Having said that, all of these people have been deemed by a judge to be able to be monitored in this way, rather than to be incarcerated in remand waiting for their trial."

There had to be some ability to get electronic bracelets off to allow for medical emergencies, she said.

Man on run still in Wellington - police

Detective Sergeant Mike Fischer said he was confident Mr Kidman was still in the Wellington area.

"We've had a number of leads to follow up on and also members of the public contacting us.

"However, we do appreciate if people still are vigilant for Mr Kidman and anyone with any knowledge as to his whereabouts would get in touch with police as soon as possible."

Mr Fischer said the public should not approach Mr Kidman, who is European, 187cm tall and of thin build.

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