Police officers convicted of 52 crimes in three years

Police officers convicted over the past three years include Aucklander Peter Pakau, who resigned from the force before being jailed for more than eight years on drug and dishonesty charges.
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Police officers convicted over the past three years include Aucklander Peter Pakau, who resigned from the force before being jailed for more than eight years on drug and dishonesty charges.

Police officers were convicted of 52 offences over the past three years after they committed crimes ranging from speeding to drug-dealing and corruption.

Figures released by police under the Official Information Act reveal 11 sworn officers were convicted on 13 charges last year. There were 19 convictions recorded in 2014 and 20 in 2013.

Police did not reveal how many of the convicted officers are still in their jobs, but said staff who appeared in court could also face code of conduct and employment investigations in addition to criminal prosecution.

While police did not identify the convicted officers, many of the most serious offending recorded in 2013 and 2014 appears to relate to former West Auckland constable Peter Pakau, who was jailed after pleading guilty to multiple drug and corruption charges in November 2014.

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Pakau resigned from police after being arrested and was jailed for eight years and four months after admitting charges relating to supplying and manufacturing methamphetamine, and accessing police computer systems with colleagues' log-ins to supply associates with personal details of others.

He also admitted receiving bribes and using his police power to help an associate steal a vehicle and to help an associate abscond from her home detention sentence.

Among the more serious convictions recorded last year was one of making an intimate and visual recording.

A 48-year-old constable from Central Otago resigned in late 2014 after being charged with using his work iPhone to film a teenager in the shower.

He pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 150 hours' community work and had his name suppressed to protect the identity of the victim.

The national manager of police professional conduct, Superintendent Anna Jackson, said it was always disappointing when an officer appeared in court.

"However, it demonstrates that we are not afraid to hold our own people to account, and that all such issues are treated very seriously and investigated robustly – and where appropriate, they are put before the courts the same as anyone else."

Jackson said the sanctions staff could face after being convicted of a criminal offence depended on the circumstances of each case.

"However, in addition to criminal investigation, staff may also face code of conduct and employment investigations, and sanctions, which is another mechanism through which they are held to account – along with independent oversight/investigation by the IPCA [Independent Police Conduct Authority]."

One officer who kept his job after a conviction was Hawke's Bay constable Shane Greville, who pleaded guilty last year to careless driving causing injury.

A judge said at the time that Greville had shown "palpable" remorse after causing a crash while off-duty that injured a 74-year-old woman.

After going through a subsequent employment investigation, he remained in the police, a spokeswoman said.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said while one conviction of an officer was too many, police ran a "big organisation" and were "very quick to put officers before the court".

Police Minister Judith Collins declined to comment on the conviction figures, saying through a spokesperson that it was an operational matter.


POLICE CONVICTIONS

2015 (13 convictions)
• Common assault (2)
• Male assaults female (2)
• Wilful damage
• Dangerous driving causing injury
• Theft & theft by a person in a special relationship
• Made an intimate and visual recording
• Theft (over $1000) & theft (between $500 and $1000)
• Careless or inconsiderate driving
• Drove with excess breath-alcohol

2014 (20 convictions)
• Wilful damage
• Careless use of a vehicle (3)
• Drove with excess blood-alcohol (2)
• Careless or inconsiderate driving (2)
• Failing to stop after an accident
• Speeding in 100kmh area
• Indecent act by a male
• Dangerous driving causing injury
• Breach of a protection order
• Burglary
• Manufactured methamphetamine
• Conspired to deal methamphetamine
• Perverting the course of justice
• Theft (2)
• Made an intimate and visual recording

2013 (19 convictions)
• Supplying cannabis
• Theft of drugs
• Supplying methamphetamine (2)
• Indecent assault
• Speeding in 50kmh area
• Drove with excess blood-alcohol (2)
• Accessing a computer system
• Corruption
• Corrupt use of official information
• Careless or inconsiderate driving
• Receiving stolen goods
• Drove with excess breath-alcohol (2)
• Breach of the Corrections Act
• Smoked cannabis
• Possessed methamphetamine
• Used methamphetamine

 

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