Our recommendations

Response of the New Zealand Police to the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct: Second monitoring report

Managing change, including cultural change

Having the public’s trust and confidence is critical for effective policing. To gain and retain that trust and confidence, it is important that the New Zealand Police:

  • build on the high degree of commitment at senior levels to change, and ensure that all staff understand and support the need for change within the Police;
  • further value and learn from the views of people external to the Police;
  • monitor the service effects of the changes they are making; and
  • improve the behaviour of the relatively small number of police officers whose behaviour is inconsistent with the Code of Conduct, including instances of sexually inappropriate behaviour.

We make four recommendations to help the New Zealand Police to manage the shift in their organisational culture that is necessary to fully implement the Commission’s recommendations.

We recommend that the New Zealand Police:

  1. support and develop leaders’, supervisors’, and managers’ capability to influence and persuade colleagues about the importance of and need for change, so that individual police officers better understand the benefits to them and the public of effectively implementing the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct and broaden their understanding of how important public confidence is to effective policing;
  2. further value and use external views on Police culture and behaviour by, for example, involving more external people in ethics committees, obtaining more feedback on police officers’ behaviour and service delivery through community engagement, and learning more from complaints information;
  3. put in place monitoring arrangements to track the changes in service delivery resulting from implementing the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. In particular, track improvements in complainants’ experiences in dealing with the Police on complaints of adult sexual assault or police misconduct, improvements in community engagement and feedback on the Police’s service delivery, and improvements in leadership and guidance on ethical issues within the Police; and
  4. foster a workplace culture that does not tolerate any sexually inappropriate behaviour by police officers by:
    • enhancing supervisors’ and managers’ capability to discourage such behaviour and take the necessary disciplinary action when it does occur; and
    • regularly tracking, analysing, and responding to trends in the incidence of such behaviour.

Implementing the Commission’s recommendations

We have made a further nine recommendations to help the New Zealand Police make better progress with implementing specific recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct.

We recommend that the New Zealand Police:

  1. implement plans for improving the information available to members of the public, including their rights and the process to follow when reporting inappropriate behaviour by police officers (to progress the Commission’s recommendation R6);
  2. start to fully use the early warning functionality of the electronic complaints recording system (IAPro) as soon as practicable, at both national and district levels, so that any inappropriate behaviour and resistance to change is regularly and systematically identified and followed up (to progress the Commission’s recommendation R8);
  3. give enough attention and priority to monitoring and auditing of adult sexual assault investigations to ensure that all of these investigations fully comply with the Adult Sexual Assault Investigation Guidelines (to progress the Commission’s recommendation R9);
  4. conduct additional independent assessments of the implementation of the Adult Sexual Assault Investigation Guidelines, to clarify whether complainants receive a consistent level of service (including when their complaint is first received) and whether the training and resources necessary to effectively implement the Investigation Guidelines are in place (to progress the Commission’s recommendation R9);
  5. regularly assess whether adult sexual assault complainants are kept well informed during the Police’s investigation of their complaints (to progress the Commission’s recommendation R15);
  6. devise an approach for ongoing skills development in adult sexual assault investigations beyond the life of the current adult sexual assault investigation training course (to progress the Commission’s recommendation R18);
  7. increase the capability of supervisors and managers to effectively operate the performance management, improvement, and appraisal systems and, in particular, the capability of supervisors and managers to conduct meaningful performance appraisals (to progress the Commission’s recommendation R49);
  8. have enough monitoring requirements in the Report and Be Protected (Safe Reporting) Policy or other documents to ensure that full and proper inquiry is always made where information received indicates that a police member or associate may have committed a sexual offence (to progress the Commission’s recommendation R52); and
  9. add "failure to report wrongdoing by a fellow police officer" as an example of misconduct and/or serious misconduct when next amending the Code of Conduct (to progress the Commission’s recommendation R55).

Other actions

As well as these recommendations, within the body of the report we have also identified several actions that we encourage the Police to take. These include, but are not limited to, actions to progress the Commission’s recommendations R11 and R35.

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