Police dog use was excessive
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.