No charges over police use of MDMA

Southern police officers obtained and used the drug MDMA while at a concert, an investigation has found.

But the officers involved will not be charged.

In a summary released on the Independent Police Conduct Authority's (IPCA) website, it outlined how it oversaw two separate police investigations into allegations of MDMA (ecstasy) use by a small group of Southern district police officers.

Police conducted incident investigations as there was no physical evidence upon which to base criminal charges, the authority stated.

In the first instance, police found that in isolation to each other, one officer had used, and one officer had obtained MDMA while at an out-of-town concert.

In the second instance (based on an anonymous complaint to police), officers denied any knowledge, possession or use of MDMA.

The IPCA found police took appropriate actions and reinforced employment expectations while providing welfare support to staff.

It agreed with the findings and the outcome.

The Otago Daily Times contacted Southern District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham for comment.

He referred queries to the police media team.

It responded with an emailed statement attributed to Supt Basham.

"Police investigated the first allegation and found that in isolation from each other, one officer had used, and one officer had obtained, MDMA while at a concert.

"Police found there was no evidence upon which to base a criminal investigation or charge, but conducted an incident investigation and the matter was dealt with through appropriate employment processes."

Due to the confidentiality of employment processes, police was unable to comment further, the statement said.

The ODT asked multiple questions about the issue under the Official Information Act, including how police learned of the allegations and how they were dealt with.

That request was declined.

 — Additional reporting Luisa Girao



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