Overview of complaints/inquiries relative to number of sworn officers

Roger Willcocks made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

The request was partially successful.

From: Roger Willcocks

Dear New Zealand Police,

If possible, I would like the following information for the years 1990 to present

1. The number of sworn police officers
2. The number of IPCA investigations and Ministerial Inquiries against officers
3. A summary for the number of complaints against officers, for example:
1990
5000 sworn officers
100 IPCA investigations
100 ministerial inquiries

1 IPCA/MI 150 officers (150 officers were the subject of a single investigation)
2 IPCA/MI 10 officers (10 officers were the subject of 2 investigations)
3 IPCA/MI 6 officers (etc)
4 IPCA/MI 3 officers

I confirm I am a New Zealand Citizen currently resident in New
Zealand.

Kind Regards,

Roger Willcocks

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New Zealand Police

Hi Roger
 
Thanks for the email you sent during our Christmas break. I've forwarded
it to the team the manages our OIA requests.
 
Regards
 
JW
Public Affairs
NZ Police
-----Roger Willcocks <[OIA #2363 email]>
wrote: -----

To: OIA requests at New Zealand Police <[New Zealand Police request email]>
From: Roger Willcocks <[OIA #2363 email]>
Date: 29/12/2014 10:14PM
Subject: Official Information Act request - Overview of
complaints/inquiries relative to number of sworn officers

Dear New Zealand Police,

If possible, I would like the following information for the years 1990
to present

1.  The number of sworn police officers
2.  The number of IPCA investigations and Ministerial Inquiries against
officers
3.  A summary for the number of complaints against officers, for
example:
    1990
    5000 sworn officers
    100 IPCA investigations
    100 ministerial inquiries

1 IPCA/MI    150 officers    (150 officers were the subject of a single
investigation)
    2 IPCA/MI    10 officers    (10 officers were the subject of 2
investigations)
    3 IPCA/MI    6 officers    (etc)
    4 IPCA/MI    3 officers

I confirm I am a New Zealand Citizen currently resident in New
 Zealand.

Kind Regards,

Roger Willcocks

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From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Willcocks

Thank you for your request for information dated 29 December 2014. Your
request is being processed.

 

 

Teresa McMahon

Ministerial Services

Police National Headquarters

PO Box 3017

Wellington

 

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

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From: JACKSON, Anna
New Zealand Police


Attachment Willcocks response to OIA of 29 12 14.pdf
47K Download View as HTML


Mr Willcocks,

 

Please find attached the police response to your OIA of 29 December 2014.

 

Regards,

 

Anna

 

Anna Jackson

Inspector | Acting National Manager: Police Professional Conduct

Police National Headquarters | 180 Molesworth Street | P O Box 3017 |
Wellington 6011

' +64 4 470 7289 | Ext: 44289 | È021 1920 243 | *
[1][email address]

Think SELF : Be Safe - Police Professional Conduct "Working with our
people to keep them safe" 

 

 

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

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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Liam Stoneley left an annotation ()

Interesting reply. Notice how it's not on official Police letterhead?

I'm not suprised by the repose. It would take a lot of collating to get all the info you requested.

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From: Roger Willcocks

Dear JACKSON, Anna,

Thank you for your response.

I understand and accept the work requirements for data prior to 2010.

The data you have supplied will do for my purposes, though I was primarily looking for the frequency distribution of complaints in addition to the base rate.

I must admit I am surprised that you are unable to supply the number of complaints for officers as I would have thought that would have formed an important metric on an officers performance.

The short summary would be:
Year Known Unknown Total % Unknown Sworn Officers % Complaints
2010 1195 636 1831 34.74% 8790 20.83%
2011 1161 657 1818 36.14% 8856 20.53%
2012 1195 537 1732 31.00% 8940 19.37%
2013 1405 493 1898 25.97% 8782 21.61%
2014 1505 662 2167 30.55% 9063 23.91%

So on average, the likelihood of a complaint against an officer has risen from 1/5 to ~1/4 since 2010.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Willcocks

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Thomas Roberts left an annotation ()

No doubt they do record the number of complaints against each officer which they use to help measure the individual officers performance, but they will probably be stored in each officers individual file, so again the only way they could provide it to you would be to go through each file by hand and tally it all up.

If you are after high level totals, the IPCA themselves would be a good place to try.

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Roger Willcocks left an annotation ()

If that was actually the case, I'd be quite suspicious of the OIA response.

The personnel records should be in electronic format, and I would expect that something like the investigation of an officers conduct would be specifically tagged.

Which in turn would mean that they CAN "just run a database query" to get the information I requested, at least for the last few years.

What I'm interested in is the actual frequency / variation in inquiries.

Obviously, a single complaint does not automatically mean anything, but if you have 2 or 3 distinct complaints in a year, does that make it likely (based on past data) that there is a problem with the officer?
Is it different if you get 3 complaints in 1 year or 1 complaint per year over 3 years, or 3 complaints at the same time?
While the summary indicates that 1/4 officers has a complaint per year, I'm sure the reality is more like 1/2 of (say) detectives, and 1/8 of line officers, and most detectives get 2 complaints a year, while line officers get 1.

All hypothetical of course.

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Thomas Roberts left an annotation ()

Just because something is in electronic format, doesn't mean it's in a nice simple database where they can hit ctrl+f and find what they are after.

As someone who has worked for several government agencies, both in analyst and data warehousing roles, it is a very timely and more importantly, a very costly exercise to create and maintain databases which can be used to run queries off.

Even private companies with vastly smaller amounts of information recorded and much larger budgets to do so have to prioritise what they can and cannot put into their data warehouses.

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Roger Willcocks left an annotation ()

Most applications I've worked with of a similar nature would allow you to (and this is the most likely "unclean" example I can think of that is still electronic) upload a document and link it to a record (e.g. Officer to a PDF of "Inquiry Documentation") and define the type of association between them.

Generating a (example) query of
SELECT
Badge, YEAR(Created) AS IYear
, COUNT (*) AS ICount FROM Docs WHERE DocType='IPCC' GROUP BY Badge, YEAR(Created)

from a table like that would provide the base data for my query, you'd need to wrap another query over the top to provide the summary I requested, but that wouldn't be hard.

Having made a statement as a witness to a purse snatching, I was quite surprised at how little useful IT was applied to that process, so I'm quite willing to accept that the police systems need considerable work.

I just would have thought that information pertaining to officer conduct would have been a key performance metric that someone would have been already looking at.

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Thomas Roberts left an annotation ()

You're overestimating the IT capablities of the Justice Sector (sadly...), the whole court system is still run on paper after all.

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Roger Willcocks left an annotation ()

And some days I itch to fix it.

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