National seeks advice on police procedure
National Party Law & Order spokesman Simon Power is writing to the Police Commissioner seeking clarification of the policy surrounding the
release of police reports.
“In light of the pre-release of extracts from a significant police report into the David Benson-Pope case, I think that
police policy on these matters needs to be publicly clarified and explained.
“Is it now acceptable practice for the person at the centre of a police report to pre-release parts of that report
before it has officially been signed off by the police?
“I worry that this has the potential to send a message to those who are accused of offences that if they play the
system, they can launch a pre-emptive strike in a bid to erode the credibility and integrity of witness statements.
“These are serious questions relating to due process that will concern members of the legal fraternity and the public. I
think the potential for this case creating a sloppy precedent also warrants police attention.
“New Zealanders will want to be assured that David Benson-Pope has been treated in exactly the same way as every other
New Zealander who pre-emptively leaks a selective account of an official police document,” says Mr Power.