Police are tight-lipped on arrests made by 63 officers, now
the focus of Parliament going into urgency to pass a
retrospective law to validate their oaths.
Police Minister Anne Tolley confirmed an amendment to the
Policing Act 2008 was introduced into Parliament under
Police had received advice from Crown Law that the
legislative fix was required to remove doubt over 63 former
constables who returned to the police force between October
2009 and July 2013.
The Bill would retrospectively authorise the oath the
officers took when they rejoined police ''to avoid any
attempt by defendants to exploit this issue''.
Affected officers had previously been sworn in by district
commanders or inspectors. However, the 2008 Policing Act
stated oaths could only be administered by the police
commissioner or a person authorised by the commissioner.
Mrs Tolley said those officers had been properly sworn in
''once this administrative error was identified''.
She was critical of the police regarding the oversight.
''It's disappointing that we are having to take this action,
and I've expressed my concerns to the commissioner.''
A spokesman for the minister said she had not been advised on
how many arrests those officers had been involved in, or what
police districts they came from.
The questions were directed to Police National Headquarters
which confirmed they would be answered by an Official
Information Act request, which would take up to 20 working
The Policing (Constable's Oaths Validation) Amendment Bill is
to be supported by all parties. However, Green Party justice
spokesman David Clendon has written to the Auditor-general
calling for an inquiry.
Emergency legislation was passed by MPs last term after
another error was found concerning oaths for new recruits.
That law change did not include the 63 officers who rejoined
the police force.