New Zealand Police recruits investigated for misconduct - report

Ten out of 100 police recruits who graduated last month from the Royal New Zealand Police College have been investigated either criminally or under the police code of conduct. 

While none of the recruits were on duty at the time of their misconduct, the police's general manager of training, Superintendent Scott Fraser, said four recruits from different wings remain stood down, Stuff reports. 

"New Zealand Police hold our staff, including recruits, to a high standard and we expect them to model our Police Values through all parts of their personal and professional lives," Mr Fraser told Newshub.  

"When a recruit's conduct is alleged to not be in line with police values, we will not hesitate to investigate thoroughly and deal with the matter appropriately."

It was revealed that a female recruit was investigated for assaulting a man, but following an investigation, there was "no evidence of criminal offending".

Another recruit - also from Wing 318 of the college in Porirua - was investigated for assaulting a woman while off duty. The man is stood down and an investigation into his actions is on-going, Stuff reports. 

A group of recruits were also allegedly found drunk in police uniform at the college, which is not allowed. Police told Stuff they were "satisfied the recruits had learnt from this incident and adapted their behaviour accordingly."

National's police spokesperson Chris Bishop has expressed concern over the new police recruits, telling NZME recruits are being pushed through even if they are unsuitable, because of New Zealand's police shortage. 

It comes after the Government announced in August plans to recruit 1800 new police officers over the next three years, after a $300 million funding boost.

Around 1280 will be deployed to districts around the country with 200 focusing on preventing gang-related and drug-related crime.

Mr Bishop dismissed the announcement at the time as "spin over substance". 

In May, he asked Police Minister Stuart Nash if he could "guarantee... that entry standards and police training will not drop" after the recruitment drive, to which Mr Nash replied, "Yes."

Mr Bishop appears unconvinced, telling Stuff a "degradation of quality results... will have an impact on the wider [police] force over time... and I know current frontline cops are worried about that." 

"The standards expected of our recruits have not changed and any recruit who does not meet the standards will not graduate," Mr Fraser told Newshub. 

The 100 recruits from Wing 318 was the largest intake by the Royal New Zealand Police College in nearly 12 years.


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