Po­lice dog use was ex­ces­sive

Waihi Leader - - News -

Po­lice used “ex­ces­sive force” with a po­lice dog dur­ing an ar­rest in Paeroa last year.

The in­ci­dent was on April 23, 2017 in which a po­lice dog han­dler was used to track three oc­cu­pants — two men and a woman — of a stolen ve­hi­cle, who had fled on foot.

One of the of­fend­ers, the woman, was lo­cated and re­ceived mul­ti­ple wounds to her arm from the dog’s bite.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Bruce Bird, Waikato Dis­trict Com­man­der said that po­lice ac­knowl­edge the find­ings of the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Con­duct Au­thor­ity say­ing that po­lice used “ex­ces­sive force de­ploy­ing a po­lice dog” at the time.

“We ac­knowl­edge that the dog han­dler did con­duct a risk as­sess­ment in re­la­tion to the ar­rest of the fe­male, and con­sid­ered a range of fac­tors in that as­sess­ment,” he said.

He said that the dog han­dler should have been the last re­sort, and po­lice failed to as­sess risks.

“Other tac­ti­cal op­tions could have and should have been used first, namely ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ‘empty hand’ tac­tics (phys­i­cal re­straint).”

“Our staff work in a fast-paced, dy­namic en­vi­ron­ment, and make a num­ber of risk as­sess­ments on a daily ba­sis,

“On the oc­ca­sions we don’t get these right, we work to en­sure lessons are learned so bet­ter op­tions are taken in the fu­ture.”

The woman was given ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­cal treat­ment, the IPCA found, and she pleaded guilty to un­law­fully get­ting into a mo­tor ve­hi­cle.

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