South's top cop defends officers after high profile cases

Southern district commander Superintendent Paul Basham says "some things can go wrong sometimes".
ROBYN EDIE/STUFF

Southern district commander Superintendent Paul Basham says "some things can go wrong sometimes".

It has been something of a baptism of fire for the south's top cop.

Southern district commander Superintendent Paul Basham acknowledges it has been a bad year for some officers in the district.

Since taking the job late last year there have been several high profile cases involving staff. They included off-duty Invercargill police officer Ben McLean allegedly murdering his estranged wife, Verity Ann McLean (nee Barber), and shooting at Garry Duggan; and Dunedin Constable Jeremy Buis being found guilty of waging a two-year harassment campaign against a member of the public.

Jeremy Buis, who remains suspended from police, leaves court after his trial for harassing a member of the public.
HAMISH McNEILLY/STUFF

Jeremy Buis, who remains suspended from police, leaves court after his trial for harassing a member of the public.

In the last week it was revealed another officer, from Southland, is under investigation after allegedly sending inappropriate texts to a woman who sought police help. 

READ MORE:
Invercargill shaken by deadly incident
Anzac Day shooting: Garry Duggan allegedly fought Constable Ben McLean after Invercargill shooting
Anzac Day shooting: The McLeans were a 'role model' family
* 'Bloody disgusting' convicted cop still on payroll

When asked if confidence in officers had taken a battering in the south, Basham said: "It concerns me that the behaviour of a few . . . affects the reputation of many, or could do."

Ben McLean allegedly murdered his estranged wife, Verity Ann McLean and shot at Garry Duggan.
FACEBOOK

Ben McLean allegedly murdered his estranged wife, Verity Ann McLean and shot at Garry Duggan.

The actions of those officers "weighs on the mind of our staff, who day in and day out do really fabulous things".

"They are upset when the actions of a few undermine the perceptions of some the good work that they do."

Basham confirmed he regularly communicated with staff about the issues. He last month sent an email reminding officers of police's internal "speak-up policy".

The policy encouraged officers to speak out if they witnessed "anyone acting outside of our values".

Ad Feedback

"I certainly take responsibility for holding our staff to account for their behaviour and for the way they uphold, and occasionally fall short of our values.

"For the vast majority of the time I am really proud of what our people do and I think the community is too."​

Basham would not comment on individual cases, but acknowledged it had been a bad year for some officers in the Southern district.

When staff were found "to have been acting criminally then we do hold them to account".

Given the size of the New Zealand police force, the 24/7 nature of the job and the fallibility of people, "some things can go wrong sometimes".

"When you look back at the history of the New Zealand police, not just this district, we are an organisation that holds our people to account, and rightly so."

The Invercargill shooting incident was one of the hardest he had dealt with in his 33 years in the police.

The one silver lining of that incident was the "spectacular" work by the attending and investigating officers.

He had no issue with the media holding police to account, but due to some processes "we cannot provide the context the community and the public would like to have".

He maintained police were stringent when investigating themselves and had a low tolerance for anyone "who crossed that invisible line".

"They understand implicitly that it only takes one bad apple to dent the reputation of the many."

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Man faces synthetic drug charges

A man has appeared in the North Shore District Court on six charges.

A 58-year-old facing a number of synthetic cannabis charges has been remanded on strict bail conditions.

School takes on old toothbrushes

Greenhithe School pupils Paige Rees, Hannah Middleton and Casey Boyd hold up some of the items collected.

A recycling drive has been a success at Greenhithe School.

Pillow fort threat reversed

Kyan Hatcher was issued a trespass order from The Warehouse after he was filmed on camera building a pillow fort.

The Warehouse reverses its decision to ban boy, 12, for making a pillow fort in store after mum's outcry.

Travellers caught up in jet fuel crisis

Simon Jones and Aurelie Meurice are dreading their extra-long flight to Manchester via Melbourne and Dubai with their ...

Some are worried disruptions will cause them to miss longed-for trips and celebrations.

Wellington

Eli gains loyal, helpful friend video

Six-year-old Eli Burkhalter with  his new assistance dog Taffy.

Taffy the golden labrador is a welcome companion for six-year-old Waikanae boy.

Train strike likely

Capital commuters are likely to face disruptions as rail workers prepare to strike.

Disruptions ahead for Wellington rail commuters as employment dispute boils over.

Earthquake jolts NZ

The quake was centred 30 kilometres northeast of Seddon.

Central New Zealand jolted by a short and sharp earthquake.

Cold facts v heat pump claims

Fujitsu's heat pump claims that they were the most energy-efficient could not be substantiated.

Fujitsu has been fined $310,000 over unsubstantiated claims about its heat pumps.

Canterbury

Impatient drivers put all at risk gallery

A tale of two overtakes. The vehicle closest to camera is safe but the blue hatchback further up the road is overtaking ...

Blind faith in their luck was the only thing that saved several motorists from disaster between Twizel and Timaru at the weekend.

Earthquake jolts NZ

The quake was centred 30 kilometres northeast of Seddon.

Central New Zealand jolted by a short and sharp earthquake.

Amputee misses out on 'lifeline'

ACC has declined to pay for medicinal cannabis for a Christchurch amputee.

Amputee who suffers from "phantom limb pain" says he'll appeal ACC's decision not to fund medicinal cannabis.

Mock crash scene hits home

Emma Rutherford participates in a mock car crash in Oxford last week.

Canterbury students got to experience what it is like at the scene of a fatal crash.

Waikato

Historic pub killing set for trial

Chris Bush was shot and killed in October 1987.

Two men to stand trial next year over the murder of pub manager Chris Bush 30 years ago.

Cocaine, cash found

The armed offenders squad helped execute a search warrant in Te Aroha.

Seven searches in Te Aroha were undertaken netting cocaine, cash and five arrests in a pre-dawn raid.

Kiwis want water levy

Farmers protested perceived attacks from politicians in Morrinsville on Monday, September 18. A new survey shows the ...

The majority of Kiwis want to see farmers pay for water use, a new survey shows.

High speed bike chase

Simon Daniel Hussey, 29, led police on a high speed police chase through the streets of Hamilton on October 6, 2015 ...

Simon Hussey reached 120kmh in an 80kmh zone while fleeing police through Hamilton.

Taranaki

Truck rolls, spills load of urea

A truck rolled on Opunake Rd, spilling urea, and blocking the area to traffic.

Truck and trailer unit rolls and spills load.

Luckin remembered

John Luckin.

"He was a passionate Taranaki rugby man and that was a great thing about him."

Four great standby dishes

New Plymouth Boys' High School students enjoy the meal they prepared.

Young cooks should be able to cook each of these from scratch and cook them well.

Right note for country's youth band

The young musicians will head to the South Island next year to train with the band.

Having five local players picked for the national band was rare, said Drew Wood.

Manawatu

Keeping the workshop tidy

12092017 Photo: MURRAY WILSON/STUFF		
Under the Radar:
Charles Reggers- a volunteer at Te Manawa talks about what he ...

A tidy workshop is a productive one and, thanks to Charles Reggers, Te Manawa's is exactly that.

Councils stay sweet

Rangitīkei mayor Andy Watson and Manawatū mayor Helen Worboys won't be restricting the sale and supply of sugary drinks ...

Manawatū and Rangitīkei mayors won't be restricting sale of sugary drinks.

Millers shop to close

Plaza manager Andrew Heaphy says Millers' lease ends in mid-October, and the women's clothing store will need to be gone ...

Job losses likely as fashion store vacates Plaza site in Palmerston North.

Pushing their peers to vote

Shayna Wingfield-Smith, 14, says young people should ask lots of questions and listen to politicians debating, to help ...

Trio has wake-up call for young people planning to sleep through election.

Nelson

Jellyfish buzzing with real vibrancy

19092017 NEWS PHOTO BRADEN FASTIER / NELSON MAIL
Debbie Lavery at her freshly renovated Jellyfish Cafe at Mapua Wharf.

Does Mapua's Jellyfish cafe have the best cafe view in the region? Our food writer thinks it could.

Big power cut

A power outage on Wednesday afternoon has affected residents in Richmond, Brightwater, Wakefield and Mapua.

Homes across Nelson without power following a widespread outage after the Marlborough quake. 

Kea shooter sentenced

A man's been sentenced to 200 hours community work for killing a kea.

A man who shot at kea who were damaging his property has been sentenced to community work.

Schools slam the Link

Schools in the Victory corridor have banded together to speak out against the proposed Southern Link.

Three Nelson schools and the kindergarten association speak up about the Southern Link.

Marlborough

Dinner's in the bag

Sous chef Emily Hulburt, 5, helps out in the kitchen preparing a 'My Food Bag' recipe.

By her own admission, reporter Paula Hulburt is a whizz with a microwave. As the first delivery of My Food Bags arrive in Blenheim, she took one for a test drive.

Earthquake jolts NZ

The quake was centred 30 kilometres northeast of Seddon.

Central New Zealand jolted by a short and sharp earthquake.

Cafe confrontation

Prime Minister Bill English stopped in at BV Gourmet in Blenheim on the campaign trail on Tuesday. (File photo)

PM's coffee break gatecrashed as Labour candidate accuses National supporters of ripping down billboards.

Weather closes newly-fixed rail line

The Main North Line between Picton and Christchurch has been closed due to bad weather, just days after its post-quake ...

Just a single train managed to traverse the newly-repaired rail line from Christchurch to Picton before bad weather closed it again.

South Canterbury

Impatient drivers put all at risk gallery

A tale of two overtakes. The vehicle closest to camera is safe but the blue hatchback further up the road is overtaking ...

Blind faith in their luck sees motorists take big risks between Twizel and Timaru.

Rules could change video

Minister Nick Smith said he endorsed the idea low-emission burners should only be introduced when old burners have ...

Meeting told Nick Smith will progress changes to national air standards.

Two escape fire video

Two people are in hospital after a well involved house fire near Timaru on Tuesday morning.

Elderly man carried wife over his shoulder as their house burned to the ground.

Parking meters stolen

Six parking meters have been stolen in Timaru, four from Bank St, and the other two from Strathallan St.

Police are looking for information after the theft of six parking meters in Timaru.

Otago

Kidnapping duo plead guilty

Nick Miles, 24, and Gary Michael Wilson, 46, have admitted kidnapping a man and dumping him on the outskirts of Dunedin.

Two men kidnapped and dumped another man on the outskirts on Dunedin.

Property value growth slows

Queenstown Bay.

New lending and tax rules may also be contributing to the changes.

Search for missing man

Missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe.

Police and LandSAR volunteers continue search for missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe in the Catlins.

Changes under way at hospital

An independent review of Dunedin Hospital's urology department has been carried out after several patients experienced ...

Health Minister expresses ''full confidence'' in Dunedin Hospital management after concerns were raised over life-threatening delays.

Southland

Quake off Southland coast

A magnitude 5.8 quake struck near Southland.

A 5.8 earthquake hit off the coast of Southland - but its shaking was unnoticeable, GeoNet says.

Do you know this man?

Do you know these people? These photos have been found in a second-hand book.

We need your help: Some family treasures have been found by an Invercargill man in a second-hand book.

Seal lion shot

Department of Conservation staff have found a second critically endangered sea lion shot on a Catlins beach.

DOC staff have found a second critically endangered sea lion shot.

Search under way

Missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe.

Police and LandSAR volunteers are searching for missing Dunedin man in the Catlins.

Ad Feedback