Police Manual Chapters

J. Beddek made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

The request was partially successful.

From: J. Beddek

Tēnā koutou,

Please release each of the following Police Manual chapters:
- Agencies investigating incidents
- Clandestine drug laboratories
- Covert backstopping
- Crash scene photography
- Drugs - Part 06 Warrants and warrantless powers authorising use of surveillance devices

For each of the Police Manual chapters listed above, please release the following information:
a. A copy of the latest version of the document.
b. The date on which the current version of the document came into effect.
c. The next planned review date of the document.
d. The licence under which the document and any accompanying information is released.

If possible, I would prefer that the information be released under the Creative Commons Attribute 4.0 licence (CC BY 4.0) [1], which is recommended under the NZGOAL framework [2]. Cabinet has invited NZ Police to take NZGOAL into account when releasing copyright material and non-copyright material to the public for re-use [3]. If NZ Police decides to release the documents with licenses of "Not Applicable" please state whether NZ Police owns the copyright to the documents.

If NZ Police decides to refuse my request under section 18(d) of the Official Information Act 1982 because the information will soon be publicly available, I ask that you also provide me with some detail as to the plan for when these documents will be made publicly available.

Please provide this information in an accessible, searchable format without a watermark.
Please release each listed Police Manual chapter as a separate document (i.e. not attached to the response letter).

If any information needs to be withheld from a document, please ensure this is not done in a way that makes the surrounding content (such as other content on the same page) inaccessible.
Please provide both the reason for the removal of the information as well as the grounds in support of that reason as outlined by section 17(2)(b) of the Act.

I am a New Zealand citizen.

Ngā mihi,
J. Beddek

[1]: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/...
[2]: https://www.data.govt.nz/toolkit/policie...
[3]: https://www.data.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/...

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From: Ministerial Services
New Zealand Police

Tēnā koe J Beddek

I acknowledge receipt of your Official Information Act 1982 request below, received by Police on 14 May 2023.

Your reference number is IR-01-23-14580.

You can expect a response to your request on or before 12 June 2023 unless an extension is needed.

Ngā mihi
Ministerial Services
Police National Headquarters

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

I see NZ Police have missed the legal deadline for this request. I hope you will complain to the Ombudsman about this unacceptable and unlawful behaviour.

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From: J. Beddek

Tēnā koe,

Yesterday (12th June) was the deadline for a response to my request. Please respond to my request and give a reason for the delay.

Ngā mihi,
J. Beddek

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From: Ministerial Services
New Zealand Police

Kia ora

Police apologise for the lateness of the response to your OIA. Unfortunately, it is still being drafted and will then progress through the internal consultation process.

The workgroup responding to your request advise that an approximate release date is Friday 23 June - they have reminded that the request is overdue.

You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision. Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

Kind regards,
Ministerial Service - Police National Headquarters

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

Basically just telling you "we haven't finished yet" isn't really a very informative response to the question of "why isn't this finished yet?"

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From: Ministerial Services
New Zealand Police

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Attachment J Beddek IR 01 23 14580 response.pdf
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Tēnā koe J                                  

Please find attached the response to your Official Information Act
request, received by New Zealand Police on 14 May 2023.


Please accept our apologies for the delay in providing you with this


Ngā mihi



Advisor | Ministerial Services | Police National Headquarters

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

This is interesting. NZ Police's response to your OIA request was over two weeks unlawfully overdue, and in their response instead of providing you with copies of the documents you have requested they provided you with links to where the have been published on the NZ Police website.

I receive automated notifications when new content is published on that section of their website, and I can see that NZ Police published five new documents on the same day as they responded to your request:

- Crash scene photography
- Clandestine drug laboratories
- Categories of surveillance with a device
- Surveillance device warrants
- Agencies investigating incidents

The "Police Manual Chapters" page says "The current policies are published on this website and are proactively disclosed by Police to provide transparency and openness". However, I see that three of these five documents were requested by you under the OIA here on FYI (and all of them were referred to in NZ Police's response).

I see NZ Police has chosen to redact some information from the "Clandestine drug laboratories" document that you requested, stating on the page they have linked you to that "Some parts of this chapter have been considered not appropriate for release and, if requested, would be withheld under the Official Information Act 1982". However, because you already requested this information under the OIA, you should already have standing if you would like to complain to the Ombudsman about this decision to withhold information.

Over the past several months, NZ Police have often added Police Manual chapters to this section of their website shortly following them being released under the OIA. But in this case it appears as though NZ Police may have unlawfully delayed their response to your OIA request so they could appear to have proactively published these documents first.

If you decide to lay a complaint to the Ombudsman regarding the unlawful delay, you may want to also bring their attention to this aspect of NZ Police's response.

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

Hmm, in their response NZ Police say that the "Categories of surveillance with a device" and "Surveillance device warrants" chapters were last updated in 2018, and next due to be reviewed in 2021 - two years ago.

However, NZ Police has released two different versions of the "Surveillance device warrants" chapter under the OIA, one was extracted on 12 July 2021 and the other was released on 2 November 2022.

This implies to me that this chapter was revised between July 2021 and November 2022, but NZ Police's claim in their response to your request that the current version of this chapter came into effect on 2 October 2018 is inconsistent with that information.

Unfortunately, the two versions were released in slightly different formats that makes it difficult to tell exactly what has and hasn't changed. I reviewed them thoroughly for differences when I added the latest document to policepolicy.nz but don't have a note of what was changed.

Having reviewed them manually again today, admittedly less thoroughly, the only difference I found was that on page 12, the acronym "TSU" has been changed to "TOG". Perhaps Police did not consider this minor change to count as a new version of this policy.

As I understand it, "TSU" is an acronym for "Technical Support Unit" and "TOG" is an acronym for "Technical Operations Group". It seems likely for me that this is essentially the same group within Police, but its name changed and the policy was updated to reflect that.

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