"Use of force and Police dogs" chapter of the Police manual

Mark Hanna made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

The request was successful.

From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koutou,

I am interested in what standards NZ Police has in place regarding use of force and Police dogs, including how this use of force is recorded. I have found that, in 2012, a list of the chapters of the Police manual were released under the OIA and this included a chapter on “Police Dogs - Use of force and Police dogs”.

I don’t know if this information is still accurate, or if the content of the Police manual may have changed in recent years, but I would like to request the following:

1. The chapter of the Police manual entitled “Police Dogs - Use of force and Police dogs” or, if no such chapter exists, the chapter(s) that have superseded this chapter.
2. Any other documents regarding the use of force and Police dogs, including any guidance documents regarding when and how the use of Police dogs should or should not be recorded in the TOR database.

I understand that part 2 of my request would include general guidance regarding when information should or should not be recorded in the TOR database, where that general guidance can be applied to the use of Police dogs.

I am only interested in guideline documents generally available to those Police staff who are involved in the use of Police dogs, not less widely available information such as communications within Police regarding specific questions about recording this information.

If the time taken to find and prepare the information for part 2 of my request is likely to delay the response to part 1, I would appreciate it if you would reply to part 1 first.

Please also explain any relevant caveats that should be kept in mind when analysing this information.

Please provide this information in an accessible, searchable format.

If any part of my request is unclear, please don't hesitate to contact me.

If any of the information that I have requested is unavailable or would be difficult to retrieve, but similar information might be readily available, I would be happy to discuss altering or refining my request.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

Today, 2019-07-11, is 19 working days since my request for official information was received on 2019-06-14, and I have not yet been informed of a decision on this request. I would appreciate it if you would ensure that your decision is sent as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case no later than tomorrow, as required under section 15 of the Official Information Act.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: MAUNDER, Renee
New Zealand Police

Hi

 

I am out of the office until the afternoon of 11 July. You can contact
Ministerial Services at [email address]

 

Regards

 

Renee

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From: MAUNDER, Renee
New Zealand Police

Good afternoon

Unfortunately, it appears that although this request reached NZ Police on 164 June, it was not correctly assigned and how only this week been sent to the team who hold that information. I do not have a timeframe for response from them, but it will not be today.

Ngā mihi

Renée

Renée Maunder
Senior Advisor
Ministerial Services
 
P +64 4 470 7119
DDI 44419
E [email address]
 

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From: MILLANTA-LOWREY, Marinna
New Zealand Police

Good afternoon Mr Hanna

 

Do you have a phone number we could contact you on in respect to your OIA
request re use of force and Police dogs.

 

Thank you.

 

Marinna Millanta-Lowrey (MML)

P   +64 4 238 3126 x 43126
M   +64 27 6274662 or +64 4 9794099  

E   [1][email address]

 

 

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

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creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
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We were asked to look into the delivery of this email. Our records show that the Police's delegated email servers accepted the request e-mail at 1:20:12 pm on the 14th.

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

Sorry for my delayed reply to your last email. I prefer not to speak over the phone, but if there are any parts of my request that need clarifying please let me know via email and I'd be happy to help.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

As you know, NZ Police was legally obligated to send a response to this request no later than a week ago (2019-07-12). I would appreciate it if you could please send through the response as soon as possible, preferably today.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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New Zealand Police


Attachment IR 01 19 19055 Excerpt of Police Use of Force Policy.pdf
489K Download View as HTML

Attachment IR 01 19 19055 Response Letter.pdf
584K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Hanna,

 

Please find attached our response to your OIA request.

 

Kind regards,

Ministerial Services

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

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: Mark Hanna

Tenā koe,

Thank you for your response. I see that the document I have been sent is an image-based PDF created by scanning printed pages. This is not an accessible format. In my request, I was quite explicit in asking that NZ Police "Please provide this information in an accessible, searchable format".

As I am certain you are aware, section 16(2) of the Official Information Act obliges agencies to make information available in the way preferred by the person requesting it in all but a few circumstances. Please either release this information in an accessible, searchable format as I have requested, or specify the reason why the information will not be made available in this way as required under section 16(3) of the OIA.

The legal due date for the release of this information was 20 working days ago. I see that these documents are marked as having been printed on the 22nd of July, which was 14 working days ago. Furthermore, no information appears to have been withheld from them.

It is extremely disappointing to see this evidence that NZ Police have continued to break the law for so long in delaying the release of this information despite it clearly having been fully prepared for release for weeks.

I hope that there will be no further delay before this information is released in an accessible format, as originally requested.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

It has been 9 working days since NZ Police received my reminder that I had requested these documents be released in "an accessible, searchable format". I have received no further communications from NZ Police regarding this request in that time.

As I explained in my previous email, NZ Police has a legal obligation under section 16(2) of the Official Information Act to release information in the way preferred by the person requesting it, or otherwise to specify the reason why the information will not be made available in this way. I have received advice from the Office of the Ombudsman that this applies to requests that information should be provided in an accessible format.

Furthermore, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni has advised me that "Providing OIA responses in accessible formats should be standard practice as part of an open and transparent government".

It has now been 49 working days since NZ Police received my initial request, asking that this information be released in an accessible format. Please confirm whether or not NZ Police is working on preparing these documents for release in an accessible format, and tell me when I can expect to receive the released documents in an accessible format, as originally requested.

I would appreciate being told this today, unless NZ Police will provide the information in an accessible format today, rather than continuing to wait weeks without any updates.

The excessive delays in providing an adequate response to this request are unacceptable and clearly unlawful, and I have lodged a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

In re-reading NZ Police's response from 2019-08-22, I see that there appears to be some information missing from the response. The response letter states the following:

"Please find attached a copy from the Police Manual - Police Dogs - Part 8 – Use of Force and Police Dogs."

"Please find attached a section from the Use of Force policy entitled “Reporting use of force/tactical options use” from the Police Manual."

However, I only see one other attachment, which is pages 1-2, 4-5, and 8-13 of the "Reporting use of force/tactical options use" document.

I am not sure why the "Use of Force and Police Dogs" document is missing, or why pages 3, 6-7, and 14-24 of the "Reporting using of force/tactical options use" document are missing.

Please re-send through the "Use of Force and Police Dogs" chapter and the missing pages from the "Reporting use of force/tactical options use" document. As specified in my original request of 2019-06-14, please ensure this information is provided in an accessible, searchable format.

If any of this information was withheld intentionally, please specify the reason for it having been withheld.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: MAUNDER, Renee
New Zealand Police

Good afternoon

I am currently pulling together the documents in an accessible format. You can expect to receive them by Monday at the latest. I apologise for the delay with this.

Ngā mihi

Renée

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

Thank you for the update Renée, I look forward to receiving them.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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New Zealand Police


Attachment Part 8 Use of force and Police dogs.pdf
171K Download View as HTML

Attachment Use of Force Overview Reporting.pdf
565K Download View as HTML


Good afternoon
 
The two Police Manual - Police Dogs - Part 8 – Use of Force and Police
Dogs and the section from the Use of Force policy entitled “Reporting use
of force/tactical options use” from the Police Manual are attached in
readable versions.
 
Nga mihi
 
Ministerial Services

-----Mark Hanna <[FOI #10536 email]> wrote:
-----
To: OIA/LGOIMA requests at New Zealand Police
<[New Zealand Police request email]>
From: Mark Hanna <[FOI #10536 email]>
Date: 22/08/2019 01:09PM
Subject: Re: OIA Response IR-01-19-19055

Tēnā koe,
In re-reading NZ Police's response from 2019-08-22, I see that there
appears to be some information missing from the response. The response
letter states the following:
"Please find attached a copy from the Police Manual - Police Dogs - Part 8
– Use of Force and Police Dogs."
"Please find attached a section from the Use of Force policy entitled
“Reporting use of force/tactical options use” from the Police Manual."
However, I only see one other attachment, which is pages 1-2, 4-5, and
8-13 of the "Reporting use of force/tactical options use" document.
I am not sure why the "Use of Force and Police Dogs" document is missing,
or why pages 3, 6-7, and 14-24 of the "Reporting using of force/tactical
options use" document are missing.
Please re-send through the "Use of Force and Police Dogs" chapter and the
missing pages from the "Reporting use of force/tactical options use"
document. As specified in my original request of 2019-06-14, please ensure
this information is provided in an accessible, searchable format.
If any of this information was withheld intentionally, please specify the
reason for it having been withheld.
Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

show quoted sections

Link to this

New Zealand Police


Attachment Hanna Mark IR 01 19 19055 letter.pdf
83K Download View as HTML


Kia ora Mark
Please see the attached letter.
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: Mark Hanna

Kia ora Lee,

Thank you for you apology, I appreciate it.

It would be great if, in the future, Police's responses to requests for official information would use accessible formats by default. I'm sure you can see the irony that your letter, apologising in part for Police not sending me information in an accessible format, is itself in an inaccessible format: an image-based PDF.

As I'm sure you know, not many people ask for information to be released this way when requesting it. Unfortunately these image-based PDFs that are often used by many government agencies when responding to requests for official information make information that has been released more difficult for people to access. This is particularly a barrier for disabled people who use assistive technologies.

A couple of years ago, I wrote to Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni regarding accessibility and the OIA. She largely agreed with my concerns, and wrote that:

"Providing OIA responses in accessible formats should be standard practice as part of an open and transparent government."

Given Police reported to the State Services Commission that they completed more than twice as many OIA requests as all other reporting agencies combined in the first half of 2019, it would be great to see it lead the way by adopting good accessibility practices in this area.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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