There have been 20 escapes from police custody in the past
five years within the Southern Police District, including
five last financial year.
In December, Tolu Maanaiama (aged 27 at the time), escaped
from the central Dunedin police station where he was being
held in custody.
He ran away from the station about 3.30pm while outside on a
smoking break, and it took police five hours to locate him.
He was found at an associate's house.
At the time, police described Maanaiama as a ''dangerous
criminal'' and alerted the public to his escape, warning he
should not be approached. An investigation into his escape
In response to an Official Information Act request, acting
Dunedin Clutha Waitaki area commander Inspector Mel Aitken
said the investigation had been completed and assessed as to
whether ''learnings'' could be taken from the incident. She
said there had been no change in police protocol as a result
of the review.
''However, staff involved have received refresher training in
custodial management protocols so that we can do our best to
ensure that a similar incident doesn't occur,'' Insp Aitken
Shortly after the incident, Dunedin Clutha Waitaki area
commander Inspector Greg Sparrow confirmed Maanaiama was in
the company of a staff member in a locked yard at the back of
the police station when he escaped.
''The man took an opportunistic decision to escape when
another staff member exited through a security gate that is
always locked, unless in use,'' Insp Sparrow said.
Maanaiama had been taken into the yard so he could have a
In 2005, Maanaiama was sentenced to four years in jail after
the robbery of a Christchurch dairy while wielding a machete
and imitation firearm.