Green MP calls for investigation into police behaviour

Police Minister George Hawkins should implement an independent investigation of police culture after revelations that it is common practice in stations around the country to photograph prisoners being humiliated by officers.

Green Party Police Spokesperson Keith Locke made the call after senior South Auckland police officer Senior Sergeant Anthony Solomona was found guilty of assaulting a 17-year-old at a Manurewa service station last year.

During the trial it was revealed that police had a wider culture of humiliating prisoners and photographing them wearing demeaning signs. The practice was confirmed by another officer, Sergeant John Nelson, who said it was part of police culture and was unlikely to be understood by the average citizen.

“If what Sergeant Nelson says it true, and the practice is widespread in stations around New Zealand, then it needs to be stopped.

“I want the practice investigated by someone independent of the police,” Mr Locke says.

“It is unacceptable that those who are tasked with upholding the law, should behave in such a manner.”

“Judge [Bruce] Davidson described the culture as sick, and I have to agree,” Mr Locke said.