Information regarding Police staff involved in traffic incidents

Hugh Davenport made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

Response to this request is long overdue. By law New Zealand Police should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

I would like to know the following information for the year 2018:
1) The number of Police staff involved in a traffic incident (for the purpose of this, I don't mean traffic stops, I mean the Police staff was driving a vehicle and had some incident with another vehicle or property that was reported).
2) The number of those that were sworn staff
3) The number of reports that were made by a member of the public
4) The number of reports that were made internally
5) The number of reports that involved a collision with a vehicle
6) The number of reports that involved an injury
7) The number of reports that involved a close call with a vehicle
8) For each of the reports from 5,6 and 7, a brief description of what happened, whether the staff was sworn or not, and what outcome was for the staff member involved if any.

I am hoping that this won't be substantial to look up, as I would hope that the numbers are quite low. However, if this request is likely to be substantial, please contact me and I can reduce the scope.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah
New Zealand Police

Dear Hugh

I refer to your request of 12 June 2019 as below.

Your request is being actioned pursuant to the Official Information Act 1982.

Ngā mihi

Hannah Wright-McCarthy
Ministerial Services Advisor
Police National Headquarters

E [email address]

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From: GIBSON, Matthew
New Zealand Police


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Good afternoon Hugh

 

Recently you sent through a request for information under the Official
Information Act. Your request number is 01-19-16397 and has been passed to
our team for a response. The request is as follows:

 

I would like to know the following information for the year 2018:

1) The number of Police staff involved in a traffic incident (for the
purpose of this, I don't mean traffic stops, I mean the Police staff was
driving a vehicle and had some incident with another vehicle or property
that was reported).

2) The number of those that were sworn staff

3) The number of reports that were made by a member of the public

4) The number of reports that were made internally

5) The number of reports that involved a collision with a vehicle

6) The number of reports that involved an injury

7) The number of reports that involved a close call with a vehicle

8) For each of the reports from 5,6 and 7, a brief description of what
happened, whether the staff was sworn or not, and what outcome was for the
staff member involved if any.

 

I need to ask for clarification on question 8, specifically the part “what
outcome was for the staff member involved if any”. Are you asking for a
description on what the incident was or the injury (if sustained)? Or are
you asking what enforcement action (if any) was taken against the driver
of the vehicle?

 

Once that item has been clarified, I will be able move forward with the
preparation of our response.

 

Regards

Matt Gibson

Grad Cert Bus Mgmt (Fleet Mgmt)

Fleet Specialist
Fleet Group

 

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===============================================================

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear GIBSON, Matthew,

I'm more interested in the latter about the enforcement, but if it isn't too much trouble I would also be interested in the injuries if any.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Davenport

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From: WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah
New Zealand Police


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Dear Hugh

 

Please find attached the NZ Police response to your Official Information
Act request.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Hannah Wright-McCarthy

Ministerial Services Advisor

Police National Headquarters

 

E [email address]

 

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===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

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From: WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah
New Zealand Police


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Dear Hugh

 

Please find attached the revised response to your Official Information Act
request.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Hannah Wright-McCarthy

Ministerial Services Advisor

Police National Headquarters

 

E [email address]

 

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===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah,

Sorry for the late response. For number 6, "The number of reports that involved an injury", I was more interested in the number of reports that involved an injury to anyone, not just to Police staff. I note that your response just includes the number of injuries to Police staff. I would hope that any incidents recorded also note any injuries to the public, especially as the Police appear to be at fault in a number of these incidents.

Would you be able to provide an updated number on this? Please note that this was my original request, so I would ideally not have to wait another 2 months for your response.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Davenport

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From: WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah
New Zealand Police

Dear Hugh

I refer to your request of 29 July 2019 as below relating to your request of 12 June 2019 which was sent to you on 15 July 2019.

Your request is being actioned pursuant to the Official Information Act 1982.

Ngā mihi

Hannah Wright-McCarthy
Ministerial Services Advisor
Police National Headquarters

E [email address]

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From: WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah
New Zealand Police


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Dear Hugh

 

Please find attached the NZ Police response to your Official Information
Act request.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Ministerial Services

Police National Headquarters

 

[1]wordmark transparent

 

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

References

Visible links

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah,

Thanks for that. Can I just clarify that means that the NZ Police do not store information about injuries to public sustained by crashes caused by Police staff? I note that under the road code that all crashes involving injuries must be reported to the Police within 24 hours, but it appears that the Police do not record this? (https://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadc...).

I would imagine that this is wrong, and the Police do record this, and the Police are illegally withholding the information requested under the OIA. So, could you please double check whether the Police store this information or confirm that you are implying that the Police are not following the road code correctly.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah,

Just confirming that you are implying that the Police are not recording information about crashing sustaining injuries to the public, as required by the Road Code.

If this is incorrect, can you please provide me with the information I requested, otherwise I will be taking this higher as it is a gross negligence by the Police to not obey the Road Code.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah,

Would I please be able to get a response to this:

Just confirming that you are implying that the Police are not recording information about crashing sustaining injuries to the public, as required by the Road Code.

If this is incorrect, can you please provide me with the information I requested, otherwise I will be taking this higher as it is a gross negligence by the Police to not obey the Road Code.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Davenport

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New Zealand Police

Kia ora Hugh
I have been advised to pass on the below information:
I can confirm that we have no register holding information on persons
injured in crashes involving Police vehicles.
You are quite correct when you state that all injury crashes need to be
reported; and all injury crashes involving Police vehicles are reported.
However,  even though the crashes are reported by way of a Traffic Crash
Report (TCR), these are entered into the Crash Analysis System (CAS) which
is owned by the New Zealand Transport Agency.
CAS is an incredibly useful tool to examine why crashes happen based on
the data from the TCR; unfortunately information as to who owns the
vehicle is not captured. This means that we cannot search CAS to see which
crashes involved a vehicle owned by New Zealand Police.
The Privacy Act is very clear as to how and why personal information
should be gathered. Ownership of the vehicle is of little import when
determining why crashes happened, and collecting this information would
likely be in breach of the principles of the Privacy Act.
CAS has been designed to provide information on the root causes of crashes
and injuries on New Zealand roads.
I hope this is helpful for you.
Ngā mihi
Ministerial Services
Police National Headquarters

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Thanks for that. Seems we are drilling down a bit. Now, can I request all notifications made under the Health and Safety at Work Act where a Police staff member was in charge of a vehicle which was in an incident which a member of the public was injured. Or is this something that the Police do not record?

I just find it interesting that the Police have information about injuries sustained to staff members, but not to members of the public. Is it really Safer "Communities" Together? Or just Safer Behind the Blue Line?

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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New Zealand Police

Kia Ora Hugh
I acknowledge receipt of your request below.
Your request is being actioned pursuant to the Official Information Act
1982. 
Kind regards
Ministerial Services
PNHQ

-----Hugh Davenport <[FOI #10522 email]>
wrote: -----
To: OIA/LGOIMA requests at New Zealand Police
<[New Zealand Police request email]>
From: Hugh Davenport <[FOI #10522 email]>
Date: 27/08/2019 02:37PM
Subject: Re: Official Correspondence from NZ Police

Dear New Zealand Police,
Thanks for that. Seems we are drilling down a bit. Now, can I request all
notifications made under the Health and Safety at Work Act where a Police
staff member was in charge of a vehicle which was in an incident which a
member of the public was injured. Or is this something that the Police do
not record?
I just find it interesting that the Police have information about injuries
sustained to staff members, but not to members of the public. Is it really
Safer "Communities" Together? Or just Safer Behind the Blue Line?
Yours faithfully,
Hugh Davenport

show quoted sections

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New Zealand Police


Attachment Davenport Hugh 01 19 23760 signed response.pdf
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Kia ora Hugh
Please find attached the NZ Police response to your Official Information
Act request.
Kind regards
Ministerial Services
PNHQ

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Thanks for that. I find it surprising that this information exists given that the Police have multiple times already refused to provide this information saying it doesn't exist. This is shown by the responses below:
- Superintendent Steve Greally delivered by WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah on Aug 12 2019. "This information is not recorded by the Police".
- From Ministerial Services on Aug 27 2019. "I can confirm that we have no register holding information on persons injured in crashes involving Police vehicles."

Yet today, you somehow find a register holding information on persons injured in crashes involving Police vehicles. What has changed? Why has this information mysteriously just started existing? Are the Police going to revisit their policies and procedures of responding to OIA requests to ensure that they are correct? Or are the Police going to continue to act against the spirit of the OIA and blatantly break the law every chance they get? It would be really nice if the Police could just be transparent and helpful when asked for information.

Given the above shows that Police do infact hold the information I made in my original request, can that information please be provided for the year 2018, including the description and outcomes of those incidents. I note that this is now overdue.

In response to your response. You mention that since 2016, only 7 events have been notified to Worksafe. Given the number is so low, I would like to request all 7 of these events as they were notified to Worksafe, and also any policies or procedures that changed in response to all 7 of those events, and also the outcome for the staff member involved in each of those 7 events (ie, were they given remedial training, suspended, employment terminated, nothing done at all).
In addition, I would like to request the number of events notified to Worksafe since 2016 that involve injury to Police staff caused by a vehicle driven by Police staff.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Given the above shows that Police do infact hold the information I made in my original request, can that information please be provided for the year 2018, including the description and outcomes of those incidents. I note that this is now overdue.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

Complaint laid with the Ombudsman:

https://fyi.org.nz/request/10522-informa...

Ongoing request since July 12, 2019. I requested information from the Police regarding traffic incidents that involved Police staff. Originally they responded to my request and with regards to injuries they only specified injuries to Police staff, even though that was not specified.
I then attempted to request injuries to members of the public that were caused by traffic incidents that involved Police staff. The Police responded saying they didn't have that information.
I then let the Police know the legal requirement of any traffic incident causing injury must be reported to Police by law, and that they surely should be following the law themselves and self-reporting any traffic incident causing injury. The police responded saying that they had no register of information containing information about injuries caused by crashes involving Police vehicles.
I then requested all notifications to Worksafe made under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The Police then responded to this saying there were 7 events where a injury was sustained by a member of the public in an incident involving a Police vehicle driven by Police staff.

As those notifications are a register of some of the incidents (serious, but not all) involving injuries to the public in incidents involving Police vehicles, they first three refusals for information were illegal, as they did and still do have a register of some incidents, and most likely will also have another register will all the incidents.

I informed the Police of this, and they have gone back to not responding. This is yet another case of the Police flaunting the law in terms of the OIA. They really do not uphold the spirit of the OIA, and it is sad that they seem to be above the law in this regard.

Cheers,

Hugh

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
New Zealand Police only: