A police officer has been charged with assault following an
incident before Christmas when he used his baton while
allegedly under attack.
The officer has been stood down from duty on full pay while
the matter is before the courts.
It is understood he attended an incident in Lower Hutt on his
own and used his police-issue baton to protect himself when
he believed he was about to be set upon by several people at
The officer has appeared before the courts but strict
suppression orders are in place preventing publication of the
officer's name, age, rank and any further details about the
Wellington police district spokesman Nick Bohm confirmed the
Lower Hutt-based officer had been charged with assault.
He declined to comment on the specifics of the incident
because the matter was before the courts.
However, he said: "When it is necessary to use force,
constables must, according to the law, use only reasonable
"This includes force that is necessary and proportionate,
given all the circumstances known at the time."
When police officers are charged with a criminal offence they
are stood down from frontline duties until the matter is
Alongside the court case, police would likely be conducting
an internal investigation to establish whether the officer
should face disciplinary or employment action.
Confirmation of the charge against the officer comes just
days after the Herald revealed that almost 70 police staff
had been arrested in the past three years.
The charges laid against those officers included dealing LSD,
assault, drink-driving and theft.
In February 2010 Henderson-based Sergeant Martin Folan was
charged with assaulting five prisoners in custody over a
four-month period. The 47-year-old was later acquitted on all
five charges after a trial in the Auckland District Court,
but resigned from the police months later before an internal
Soon after, two more West Auckland officers were charged with
assaulting drunk 18-year-old Josh Hart after arresting him at
a party. Alan Douglas was convicted and fined $600 and Gareth
Needham was convicted and discharged. Douglas resigned from
the police last year.
The Lower Hutt officer will reappear in court later this
- Anna Leask of the New Zealand Herald