Southland man wants access to police report

Anau man David Wilson wants a copy of the internal police investigation report he contributed to.

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Anau man David Wilson wants a copy of the internal police investigation report he contributed to.

A man from Te Anau, on charges of kidnapping, wants to know why the police are not giving him an internal report.

David Wilson was charged with kidnapping and firearms after arresting a citizen on his property in June 2019.

Judge Peter Rollo dismissed those charges in June 2020, ruling that the arrest of Wilson’s citizens met the criteria under Section 35 of the Crimes Act.

Wanting to know why he was charged with kidnapping, Wilson said he would be denied a copy of an internal police investigation he contributed to.

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He wrote to Southern District Police Professional Conduct Manager, Inspector Fiona Roberts, and Inspector James Ure, Manager of the District Prevention Manager, in December. Withholding the report shows a lack of transparency and accountability.

“If I had known that I would be excluded from the results (or the absence), I would not have participated [in the internal investigation]. I guess you knew that, ”he wrote.

Southland area commander Mike Bowman said the police have the same privacy obligations as any other employer on employment issues and are therefore unable to provide further comments.

Bowman refused to answer certain internal review questions.

Police are aware and committed to how they deal with people and build trust, especially in smaller and more isolated communities, he said.

Wilson’s attorney, Fiona Guy Kidd QC, declined to comment on the withheld report.

Stuff requested a copy of the internal report from the police under the Official Information Act, but it was rejected.

Police also refused to publish notebooks of the arrests of Wilson’s citizens in an attempt to avoid compliance with the law, protect the privacy of natural persons, and protect sensitive information when the provision of the information was likely to interfere with the provision of similar information .

A spokeswoman for the Ombudsman said the OIA protected certain interests such as privacy, obligations to protect confidentiality and the need to protect freedom of expression.

The public interest in disclosure of information also needs to be considered before these grounds for refusal can be invoked, she said.

The Ombudsman’s office is looking into a complaint filed by Stuff about this denial.

Wilson said he is now pursuing $ 35,000 in court costs for his defense on the dismissed kidnapping and firearms charges.

He was making a so-called citizen arrest when Wilson heard a noise around 4:20 a.m. and found a drunk man stealing a motorcycle from his barn.

Wilson took the man into the living room, got him a cup of coffee, woke his wife and told her to call the police.

He also gave his 16-year-old son a Benelli shotgun before checking the rest of the property, fearing that people’s employees might have been around.

Wilson put the shotgun on his son’s lap, instructing him to sit in a designated chair where he had a clear line of sight to the man about three to five meters away, the judge said in his decision.

He said to his son, “This shotgun is only for when your or your mother’s life is in imminent danger.”

The son gave evidence that the gun was muzzle down and not held to fire, but in a position where it could easily be brought into a firing position, the judge says.

Judge Rollo noted that a firearm was not aimed at the man and Wilson had a believable, plausible narrative in self-defense, and he also dismissed the firearm allegations.

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