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