Police acknowledge IPCA finding into unjustified use of a Police dog during an arrest

Police acknowledge the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority report regarding the unjustified use of a Police dog during an apprehension of a youth in Auckland in April 2022.

Counties Manukau District Commander, Superintendent Shanan Gray, says on 22 April 2022, Police responded to reports of a group of seven youths travelling in a stolen 7-seater vehicle.

“The vehicle was identified following reports that one of the occupants had attempted to steal another vehicle earlier in the day on Auckland’s North Shore.”

“The vehicle failed to stop for Police when signalled to do so and Police observed it driving in a dangerous manner, often on the wrong side of the road, until it eventually came to stop after being successfully spiked by Police.”

Five of the passengers exited the vehicle and left the area on foot, while one youth stayed inside the car. The driver got out of the vehicle, but remained nearby.

Superintendent Gray says the vehicle began slowly rolling backwards due to the incline of the road.

“The person in the vehicle subsequently requested help from the driver, who at the same time was being instructed by an attending dog handler to get on the ground. The dog handler instructed the driver to get on the ground a second time before releasing his dog,” Superintendent Gray says.

“We acknowledge the Authority’s report that the driver said she was about to comply, while at the same time the dog handler assessed the driver as turning away and about to flee.

“The youth subsequently received medical treatment for a minor dog bite.”

Police acknowledge the Authority found that the dog handler did not have reasonable grounds to conclude that the driver was attempting to escape, and using the dog to apprehend the youth was not justified.

“This was a dynamic and fast-moving situation, which required our officers to make quick decisions while working within Police’s Tactical Options Framework in regards to appropriate use of force,” says Superintendent Gray.

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.