Police apologise to burglar

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 12:28 07/04/2014

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Police have apologised to an Invercargill burglar sentenced to eight months' jail because they left a police dog on him for too long when they were arresting him three years ago.

Blair Donal Taylor was sentenced to eight months' jail for burglary and one month jail concurrent for resisting police on April 2, 2011.

The incident occurred when police were called to a burglary in Tay St. 

Six officers and a police dog were involved in the arrest of Taylor who had been drinking and was uncooperative at the time, police said.

After his arrest, Taylor raised an issue with the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) about the use of a police dog as part of the arrest.

The IPCA report, released today, did not find that the initial deployment of the dog was unjustified but the 50-second deployment may have been unjustified.

Southern District Commander, Superintendent Andrew Coster said police accepted the findings and apologised to Taylor for any additional distress this caused.

''The decision to deploy and persist with the use of a police dog, or any other use of force, is always a judgement call based on the circumstances facing our officers at the time. A police investigation found that the dog's deployment was appropriate,'' he said.

A subsequent review of the police investigation into the incident found no criminal prosecution was warranted under the Crown Law guidelines for prosecution.

The IPCA has not made any recommendations based on its findings in relation to the incident, Coster said.

''However, police will take the lessons from this situation on board to minimise the possibility of any recurrence in future.''

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- The Southland Times

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