Commissioner slams police over teens
EMPLOYMENT AND JUSTICE REPORTER
The Police Commissioner has publicly reprimanded staff involved in the detainment of two Upper Hutt teenagers earlier this year.
Last week the girls, aged 14 and 16, told The Dominion Post how they had been strip-searched and held in a cell for 36 hours.
They also claimed that they had been denied contact with their families or a lawyer and that the 16-year- old was forced to express breast milk into a cell sink after being separated from her baby.
The girls were arrested in January after police received a complaint about an attack on two other teenage girls.
During a Youth Court hearing in July, Judge Mary O'Dwyer condemned the arrest and police handling of the case, citing several breaches of protocol.
Police called the actions of some staff an aberration and said an investigation was under way.
In his blog, commissioner Peter Marshall said he was left "shaking his head" at the alleged treatment of the girls.
While all organisations suffer slip-ups, the police did not duck for cover, he said.
"If true, it's a situation we don't need in a highly professional service like ours - and I've told staff as much."
Earlier this week the Independent Police Conduct Authority confirmed it had launched its own investigation into the allegations made during the court process as well as fresh claims made to The Dominion Post.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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