Police complaints going more public

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 15:05 20/02/2013

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The Independent Police Conduct Authority has announced it will make more of its findings public.

This comes only weeks after it kept secret its report into the death of murder suspect Tim Parlane.

Sir David Carruthers, who took over as chairman of the authority last July, told the Law and Order Select Committee this morning he had recently received a legal opinion from a senior lawyer that would allow more of the findings to be made public.

In 2011-2012 the authority investigated 87 of about 2000 complaints it received. Only 14 of those reports were made public.

‘‘I have taken the view from the start that we should report more publicly so people can see what we do,’’ Sir David said.

‘‘In future it’s likely we will be reporting on all our investigations unless there’s an overwhelming private interest.

‘‘We think there’s been a change in both public attitudes and public interest and there is a need for us to report publicly in some way.’’

He hoped the shift would create a greater awareness of the authority and make it more accessible to the public.

RECENT SECRECY

The announcement comes less than a month after the authority kept secret its report into police actions before the death of Tim Parlane, 27, of Lower Hutt.

The Dominion Post has previously reported he confessed to a woman he was dating that he had murdered Matthew Hall, 35, in February 2011.

Parlane was later questioned by police, and died hours later when he was hit by a train.

The woman said she had warned police that Parlane had threatened suicide if they were to interview him.

The findings of the IPCA investigation were sent to Police Commissioner Peter Marshall and Parlane's family in August last year, but not released publicly ‘‘because of a number of factors,’’ a spokeswoman said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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