24 Sep 2015

Officers should have got man medical help

12:13 pm on 24 September 2015

The police watchdog has found officers failed to get medical help for a semi-conscious, intoxicated prisoner for nine hours after he was first taken into custody.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority's has released its findings into the incident that happened in September last year.

Police were called to a fight at Gate Pa in Tauranga where officers had to force a man into a police car.

While he continued to struggle violently on the way to the station, the authority found police used reasonable force in dealing with him.

But when the arrested man got to the police station, he fell out of the car, and was motionless and unresponsive.

The authority said despite some officers realising he needed medical care, they did not call for help during the nine hours he was in custody.

It said they failed to fulfil their duty of care to the man, and failed to follow policy.

Tauranga police said they accepted the authority's findings.

They said the man was offered medical help and declined, but they acknowledged medical attention should have been sought anyway.

They said the man had assaulted an officer in the back of the patrol car, biting him and puncturing his skin.

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