Wo­man ‘left naked’ in cell

Western Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - HAR­RI­SON CHRIS­TIAN

An Auck­land wo­man has laid a com­plaint af­ter po­lice of­fi­cers al­legedly stripped her naked and left her in a station cell.

The po­lice watch­dog is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent, which the wo­man said hap­pened at the Waitakere po­lice station in June 2016.

The 34-year-old got her pe­riod while she was be­hind bars, but said of­fi­cers put her in a too-short ‘sui­cide gown’ – a tear-re­sis­tant smock used on peo­ple deemed at risk of self-harm or sui­cide – and ig­nored her pleas for san­i­tary prod­ucts un­til the next morn­ing. She asked not to be named, as she was deeply em­bar­rassed over what hap­pened.

She has writ­ten to the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Con­duct Au­thor­ity (IPCA), which is now mak­ing in­quiries with po­lice over the mat­ter.

The wo­man was ar­rested fol­low­ing a do­mes­tic in­ci­dent that saw her charged with us­ing threat­en­ing lan­guage and as­sault.

She was later dis­charged without con­vic­tion.

‘‘At first they told me I’d be home in time to pick up my son from school,’’ she said.

‘‘Then when I got there, they said that I had to stay in the cells.

‘‘Then next thing – and I was get­ting a bit pan­icky by this point – they [two fe­male po­lice of­fi­cers] told me that I had to take off my clothes and that I had to put on this gown, but it was too short.’’

She said the gown ex­posed her gen­i­tals and bottom, es­pe­cially when she tried to sit or lie down.

Po­lice were aware a wo­man had laid a com­plaint with the IPCA, and could not com­ment on the specifics.

‘‘They said that I had to stay in the cells.’’

CHRISTEL YARD­LEY/STUFF

A wo­man says she was kept overnight in a cell at the Waitakere po­lice station, with her gen­i­tals ex­posed (file photo).

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