9 August 2021
via email: [FYI request #16261 email]
Request for Information – Our Reference: IR-01-21-23682
Thank you for your request for information dated 1 August 2021 requesting
information about Police interactions with suicidal persons. Specifically, you
1. Information on the number of police call outs that have involved officers
having to talk down suicidal people; and
2. The total percentage of al call outs where this has occurred.
In correspondence with Senior Sergeant Scott Dunn of the Emergency
Communication Centre Intelligence Unit on 2 August 2021 you specified that “the
period for the information I request is between 1 December 2000 – 1 August
2022, if possible I would also like the figures to be set out 3 monthly for that
Your request has been considered in accordance with the Of icial Information Act
The systems used by Police code an event or incident to the most appropriate
type based upon the circumstances provided by the caller. This code can be
changed at any time during attendance or investigation based upon a change in
circumstances. This can result in an incident being dispatched as one code type
but resulted, or closed, as another.
The generic Police code ‘1X’ can relate to a range of incidents where persons
have either threatened to commit suicide, are having suicidal thoughts, have
attempted to commit suicide and also covers instances where a third party calls
to report concerns for a friend or relative who has disclosed a suicidal ideology to
them. As a result, the range of situations and circumstances varies markedly
across this incident code.
While the specifics of each incident are recorded in the dispatch system, the only
mechanism available to identify specific examples of someone being dissuaded
from committing suicide by Police, would be to conduct a manual review of every
incident coded 1X.
Police National Headquarters
180 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington SX11149
Telephone: (04) 474 9499. www.police.govt.nz
To give an indication as to the work required, for the period of 1 July 2020
through 30 June 2021, there were more than 19,500 incidents that were originally
coded, or closed with, the 1X incident code.
I am therefore refusing your request pursuant to section 18(f) of the OIA as the
information you have requested cannot be made available without substantial
collation or research.
Additionally, our data regarding dispatch records and specific events is only
searchable from July 2009 onwards.
If you are not satisfied with my response, you have the right under section 28(3)
of the OIA to make a complaint to the Ombudsman and seek an investigation and
review of the refusal.
Inspector Michael Coulter
Acting National Operations Manager
Emergency Communication Centres