Police Acknowledge IPCA Findings In Relation To Sexual Assault Investigation

Published: Thu 27 Feb 2020 10:57 AM
Police acknowledge the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) in relation to decision-making in a sexual assault investigation in Palmerston North.
The IPCA found that the decision-making was sound, and there was no conflict of interest on the part of any officer involved in the investigation.
“Police conducted a thorough investigation in relation to this sexual assault complaint, and the decision not to prosecute was made after a robust examination of the evidence by experienced officers,” says Superintendent Chris de Wattignar, Central District Commander.
“At the time the sexual assault complaint was reported to police, we were also alerted to a potential conflict of interest on the part of a senior officer at Palmerston North station, due to a friendship with the alleged offender in this matter.”
“We took immediate steps to ensure that officer would not be involved in the investigation in any way.”
At the conclusion of the investigation, the detective in charge travelled from Palmerston North to Waikato to meet with the complainant and provide a comprehensive explanation of the decision not to proceed with a prosecution.
We note the IPCA’s finding that this meeting should have been followed up with a formal letter outlining the reasons for the decision.

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