At least 67 police staff have been arrested in the past three
years while serving on the force. Some of the charges include
dealing LSD, assault, drink-driving and theft.
The Police Association says even one arrest was too many.
In the year to August, 10 police staff - sworn and non-sworn
- were arrested on charges including assault with a blunt
instrument, theft of property under $500, theft of a motor
vehicle and drink driving.
The districts which led the criminal behaviour were
Canterbury and Waitemata, according to police figures
released to The New Zealand Herald under the Official
In 2011, 28 police employees were arrested on charges
including impersonating police, assault with intent to
injure, unlawful sexual connection to a female and
obstructing the course of justice.
Then, the districts with the greatest number of police
arrested were Counties Manukau and Wellington, with seven in
Police Association president Greg O'Connor said the figures
clearly showed that police did not look after their own - in
fact they did the opposite.
''If there were no police officers being arrested and charged
ever, I think the public would have rightfully more concern
that there was covering up. ''No-one who has had anything to
do with police - particularly lawyers who look after police
officers - would ever say anything other than they're
absolutely and utterly thorough.''
Mr O'Connor said many of the cases highlighted by the figures
would have been found not guilty by the courts because had
the offender been a civilian, he or she probably would not
have been charged.
And he reiterated that not all of those arrested were
employed as police but were police staff.
''But even one is too many,'' Mr O'Connor said.
National manager of professional standards Detective
Superintendent Sue Schwalger said police took a
zero-tolerance approach to criminal behaviour in their ranks.
Wherever there was evidence of criminal offending, Det Supt
Schwalger said, it was treated in the same manner as that of
the public and was subject to the same tests.
''The police have one of the consistently highest ratings of
any government agency in terms of public trust and
confidence, and we want to ensure that remains the case,''
''However, these numbers are not reflective of the efforts of
the remaining 12,000 police staff who come to work every day
to make a positive difference to make our roads and
In October, a survey found public trust in the police had
fallen, and support for a beefed-up Independent Police
Conduct Authority was strong.
The Horizon Research police performance survey questioned 756
adults via email about their attitudes towards the police.
Just over 80% of respondents wanted complaints about police
to be investigated independently and support for added powers
for the IPCA was also strong, 76.3% of those polled believing
the authority should have the power to initiate a prosecution
against police officers.
Police Minister Anne Tolley questioned the methodology of the
survey at the time it was released.
Later that month, police were on the receiving end of a High
Court ruling which found they breached the court process by
faking the prosecution of an undercover officer to protect
his cover as he infiltrated a Nelson gang.
At the time, Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the
New Zealand police force was ''absolutely focused on the
trust and confidence that the New Zealand public has in it''.
By Amelia Wade, of the New Zealand Herald.