OAG releases fourth monitoring report on Police conduct

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has released its Fourth Monitoring Report relating to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct (2007).

The Fourth Monitoring Report follows the Police response to the five recommendations made in the Third Monitoring Report (October 2012). It also examines changes in the Police workplace culture.

A main recommendation of the third monitoring report was improving the investigation of adult sexual assaults. This required Police specifically:

  • "to give their investigation work the necessary attention, priority, and resourcing to further progress the Commission’s recommendations about adult sexual assault investigation;
  • to implement their 'catch-up plans' for specialist training for adult sexual assault investigations, so that all police staff who could be involved in or supervise such investigations complete that training by 31 December 2012; and
  • with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the Ministry of Health, and South Canterbury District Health Board, to resolve any outstanding issues with the availability of Sexual Abuse Assessment and Treatment Services (SAATS) in the South Canterbury area."

The report states, "The Police have given more priority to investigating adult sexual assaults than in the past. They monitor and review the investigations better, using a case management approach. The Police are establishing the reporting systems they need to provide a good view of their investigation activities. They have also introduced a tiered training model for new recruits and detectives that specifies the level of training required to investigate sexual assaults."

However the OAG also found a need for ongoing improvement in training in investigation and support. For example, "The Police are considering how to ensure that frontline officers and front-counter staff have enough training in dealing with victims in an empathetic manner and that complaints are always recorded, as required by, and explained in, the ASAI policy. The Police told us that they are preparing a training package for frontline and front-counter 'watchhouse' staff, which adult sexual assault co-ordinators will roll out."

It also found "there is still room for the Police to improve how they communicate with victims and how they collate and use feedback from victims. The Police acknowledge that they need to do more to understand the effectiveness of the improvements they have made for responding to victims of a sexual assault and how they could make further improvements.

A formal SAATS agreement is not yet in place in South Canterbury.

The Fourth Monitoring Report also included recommendations on responding to poor behaviour and wider workplace cultural changes highlighted in the third monitoring report.

All reports are available on the OAG website:

In 2007, Dame Margaret Bazley completed the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct.

Media

Police culture 'improvement' too sympathetic following Roast Busters, NZ Herald, 01.04.2015

Police need to improve how they deal with sex assault cases, MPs told, Stuff, 31.03.2015‎

Strong ethical, enduring culture, NZ Police TenOne, March 2015

Work needed on sexual assault handling, Radio NZ, 19.02.2015

Image: Police Officers In Downtown Auckland by Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public Domain.