Police power and official statue

Zane Collins 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: Zane Collins

Dear New Zealand Police,

I would like to know under what section of the crime act 1961 or the policing act 2008, a police officer can issue a caution letter against a suspect in minor assault allegations who was not found guilty and denied the allegations and with insufficient evidence that the suspect has committed a crime.

Are the police officers or detectives have the power to issue a caution letter, if a suspect wasn't found guilty ? I want to know under which ACT or law or police standards procedure they will be able to do it.

Yours faithfully,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Collins

I acknowledge your request for information, as set out below. Your request
is being dealt with under the Official Information Act 1982.

 

Regards

 

 

Ministerial Services

Police National Headquarters / New Zealand Police / Nga Pirihimana O
Aotearoa

180 Molesworth Street, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140  [1]www.police.govt.nz

To: OIA/LGOIMA requests at New Zealand Police
<[2][New Zealand Police request email]>
From: Zane Collins <[3][FYI request #7068 email]>
Date: 28/12/2017 11:02PM
Subject: Official Information request - Police power and official statue

Dear New Zealand Police,

I would like to know under what section of the crime act 1961 or the
policing act 2008, a police officer can issue a caution letter against a
suspect in minor assault allegations who was not found guilty and denied
the allegations and with insufficient evidence that the suspect has
committed a crime.

Are the police officers or detectives have the power to issue a caution
letter, if a suspect wasn't found guilty ? I want to know under which ACT
or law or police standards procedure they will be able to do it.

Yours faithfully,

Zane Collins

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Link to this

From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,

I am still waiting for the information to be provided as soon as possible as its already passed the 20 days.

Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Collins
The reply has been prepared and is being reviewed. Under the Official Information Act, the days between 25 December in any year and 15 January of the following year don't count as "working days" so the final day for your response is 13 February 2018.

Regards
Teresa McMahon

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Link to this

From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,

Just a reminder that i should receive your response by the end of today.

Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Collins

I refer to your request for the following information:

 

I would like to know under what section of the crime act 1961 or the
policing act 2008, a police officer can issue a caution letter against a
suspect in minor assault allegations who was not found guilty and denied
the allegations and with insufficient evidence that the suspect has
committed a crime.

Are the police officers or detectives have the power to issue a caution
letter, if a suspect wasn't found guilty ? I want to know under which ACT
or law or police standards procedure they will be able to do it.

 

I have been asked to notify you that police requires an extension of time
in which to respond to your request pursuant to s15 of the Official
information Act 1982, because the request necessitates consultations such
that a proper response to the request cannot reasonably be made within the
original time limit.

                                                                                           

Police require until 28 February 2018 to provide a substantive response to
your request. 

 

I apologise for any inconvenience and remind you of your right to complain
to the Office of the Ombudsmen about this extension.

 

 

Teresa McMahon, Ministerial Services

Police National Headquarters / New Zealand Police / Nga Pirihimana O
Aotearoa

180 Molesworth Street, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140  [1]www.police.govt.nz

 

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

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
1. http://www.police.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police


Attachment Pre Charge warnings Redacted.pdf
3.5M Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Collins

 

I refer to your request of 28 December 2017 in which you asked:

 

Under what section of the crime act 1961 or the policing act 2008, a
police officer can issue a caution letter against a suspect in minor
assault allegations who was not found guilty and denied the allegations
and with insufficient evidence that the suspect has committed a crime.

Are the police officers or detectives have the power to issue a caution
letter, if a suspect wasn't found guilty? I want to know under which ACT
or law or police standards procedure they will be able to do it.

 

I attach a copy of Police’s instruction on pre-charge warnings which
addresses the issues you raise.

 

One name has been withheld under s9(2)(a) of the Official Information Act
1982 to protect the privacy of natural persons.

 

You have the right to complain to the Ombudsman about my decision on your
request.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Teresa McMahon, Ministerial Services

Police National Headquarters / New Zealand Police / Nga Pirihimana O
Aotearoa

180 Molesworth Street, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140  [1]www.police.govt.nz

 

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

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
1. http://www.police.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,

Your response is irrelevant to my inquiry.

If you look at my original request, it's stating "caution" letter not a pre-charge warning.

To make it clear ,The scenario is if an alleged person for a minor allegations was interviewed and was found not guilty due to insufficient evidence or proof.

Is the police officer entitled or have the power to issue a caution letter on the alleged person threatening and harrasing the alleged person and record it on his NIA ?

Under what act or legislation it's stating that police officer have the power and authority to issue CAUTION for non-guilty suspect person.

I will appreciate your early response as soon as possible.
Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,
As explained I am not asking for the pre-warnings. I am asking about the caution letter if you look properly at my question.

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,
Can you please get back to me about this inquiry because it has been delayed and you have provided information irrelevant to my inquiry.

I look forward to your answer asap.

Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Collins
The issues you raised in response to the reply sent to you are being looked at and we will get back to you with a substantive response.

Kind regards

Teresa McMahon, Ministerial Services
Police National Headquarters / New Zealand Police / Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa
180 Molesworth Street, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140 www.police.govt.nz

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Link to this

From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,
I have looked at all your National Recording Standards, guides, policies including acts and Legislations and I couldn't find any information in regards to my inquiry.

Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,
I would like to be informed how long would it take to get the response for my inquiry ?

The response is already delayed and should have been provided by feb 13 2018.

Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,

Any updates about this request? It has been delayed without any answer and no timeframe for the response ?

If i don't receive a response within the next couple of days, then I have no other option only to complain as you are legally obliged to provide a response within 21 days.

Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Collins
The issues you raised on 16 February 2018 in response to the reply sent to you are being looked at and we will get back to you with a substantive response.

Kind regards

Teresa McMahon, Ministerial Services
Police National Headquarters / New Zealand Police / Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa
180 Molesworth Street, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140 www.police.govt.nz

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Link to this

From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Collins
Further to your email below, Police is not obliged to form an opinion, create information or provide legal advice to answer an official information request. There is a difference between:
• questions which can be answered by providing information already known to and held by the agency (official information); and
• questions which require the agency to form an opinion or provide an explanation and so create new information to answer the request (not official information).

It’s important to note that information must be held, i.e. in existence, when it is requested. There is no obligation under the legislation to create information in order to respond to a request. The legislation is not a mechanism that can be used to force agencies to engage in debate or generate justifications or explanations in relation to a matter of interest to the requester.

Your request is refused pursuant to section 18(g) of the Official Information Act as the requested information is not held nor believed to be held by another agency.

If you are not satisfied with this response you have the right to complain to the Ombudsman.

Yours sincerely

Teresa McMahon, Ministerial Services
Police National Headquarters / New Zealand Police / Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa
180 Molesworth Street, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140 www.police.govt.nz

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Link to this

From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,

First of all when i submit my request back last year, you responded with irrelevant information t close the request. My request was clear and not vague but you have provided wrong misleading information.

I am not asking for an opinion nor for a legal advice, I clarified my request several times and provided a scenario to make it easy for you to understand.

I am simply asking for under what legal framework / Acts / Legislation or of the Police Manual or the Manual of the Best Practice of the police, Any chapters which does explain the 'Caution letter procedures and standards and definition' which is similar to the pre-warning charges manuals which you have sent me recently and were not relevant to my request. So any manuals / chapters in your manuals explaining about the 'Caution letters' such as;

- What are the caution letters
- Benefits of Caution letters
- What are the benefits of the caution letters
- Under what act or law a police officer is entitled to issue a caution letter
- Whether the caution letter and information to be entered in the NIA and what are the procedures of entering the information in the NIA.

Similar to what have been mentioned in the Pre-Charge warnings Manual explaining the mechanism and the standard operation procedures of the 'Caution Letters'

Can you confirm if the above request is not available then i will have no other option only to complain to the Ombudsman.

Yours sincerely,
Zane Collins

Link to this

From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Collins
I am sorry that you are unhappy with the replies given to you to date about this particular request.

We are looking further into the issues and questions you have raised and you will get a further response.

Regards

Teresa McMahon
Police National Headquarters

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From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,

We have already lodged a complaint to the ombudsman and waiting for their response. Maybe you can provide the information to ombudsman or here as long as it will not take 2-3 months to get a response from you.

Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Thanks. We will send the response to you.

Teresa McMahon

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From: Zane Collins

Dear MCMAHON, Teresa,
Can you let me know when you will provide the answer to my request?

It's very long overdue now.

Yours sincerely,

Zane Collins

Link to this

Caitlin McDonald left an annotation ()

Though Police did not answer my own questions in a similar OIA request, they did POST me a printed section from their intranet of the instructions about issuing caution letters.

I haven’t posted before so I don’t know how to share it—any tips?

I have made another OIA for the template of the letter, which is hyperlinked in. I am doubtful that officers are meeting the standards of even their own caution document and want to check to see if I’m right.

(No legislation appears to recognise or allow the caution letter, anyway, as others have recognised.)

Link to this

Lisa left an annotation ()

You could try saving a photo of the document to Google Drive and putting the link in the annotations here maybe.

Link to this

Caitlin McDonald left an annotation ()

Thanks Lisa. And I’m adding extra info
to show my experiences with what looks like a mini Police State: It’s of great public interest and I hope someone elsecan benefit from it.

Contents of my post:

1. — Link to Harassment Act Caution letter information from Police intranet.

2. — Body of email I sent to <IR.Central@police.govt.nz> to repeat my OIA request, which the linked document only partially answers.

3. — Body of my follow-up OIA request for caution letter template

4. — Part of the wording of the warning (ostensibly caution) letter served on me

5. — Link to SOLICITOR-GENERAL’S GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF WARNINGS which I sent to the sergeant of the constable who served me the warning

6. — The sergeant’s brief response to me denying the relevance of these guidelines

7. — IR.Central@Police.govt.nz’s reason for blocking my access to the evidence for the false claims made against me (which don’t meet even meet civil harassment thresholds).

>>>>>The information<<<<<<<<

—————- 1. OneDrive link to Harassment Act Caution Letters https://1drv.ms/b/s!At4zuuKnQ-oCgaNQ7xmu...

—————— 2. My OIA request IR-01-22-10589, which I repeat below to <IR.Central@police.govt.nz>. The PC who served me the warning notice posted me the document linked in above, in partial response to this OIA response. (No response to date, 17 May 2022.)

On 11/05/2022, at 11:41 PM, Caitlin [deleted] wrote

Hi Michelle,

>> Repeat of Information Request IR-01-22-10589

PC Gawn didn’t answer my questions and it’s not at all appropriate for her to contact me as she is the person I have complained about for giving me false information in the first place. Sergeant Knight was also involved. Also, this is Police information, not PC Gawn information.

So: Please provide the information I asked for, and electronically please. The information is now overdue so please send it by the end of Friday 13 May.

Here is my request again:

Information Request IR-01-22-10589:

(1) What are warning notices under the HA1997? PC Briar Gawn tells me they are precursors to official warning notices. Are they templated? Who writes them???

(2) What is the process for issuing them? Such as what evidence threshold, who can issue them, what law they come under, do they need sign-off from anyone?

(3) How should they be served on the accused? What accompanying information should be given—such a reference number? A right of response? A communication channel? Privacy of accused? (Briar refused my invitation to come in, so my neighbours heard, including my crying .)

(4) What authority or legal significance do they have? What evidentiary bearing do they have on the accused? Where are they recorded and how long for?

(5) Briar said it was necessary to talk to me about correct conduct but it wasn’t in writing. Is that legal? To instruct the accused off record?

(6)What measures prevent officers acting as representatives for complainants against the accused?

Your answer:

After speaking with Sergeant Hamish KNIGHT, he has advised that Constable Briar GAWN will be sending you a letter within the next 14 days answering these queries you have regarding the Harassment Notice you were served. If you would like to speak to an Officer in person sooner than this, please visit your local Police Station.
Central District
Information Requests
Telephone: 105. . www.police.govt.nz

Thanks,
Caitlin.

On 4/05/2022, at 10:20 AM, IR.Central <IR.Central@police.govt.nz> wrote:

Good morning Caitlin,

[Body email with attached response]

———-3. My follow up OIA for letter template etc

>> What I want:

URGENTLY: By COB Thursday 12 ideally. 

(1) Interactive PDF copy of the Harassment Act Caution Letters section of the Police Instructions from the Ten One Intranet.

See attachment for what I mean. (Interactive PDF please: I want to be able to copy quotes from the text.)

(2) Electronic copy of the template for these letters. 

The template is mentioned and hyperlinked in the PURPOSE and EXAMPLE OF CRIMINAL HARASSMENT CAUTION LETTER sections of the document mentioned in my What I Want (1). 

>> The reason for what I want:
— PC Gawn served on me a copy of what she purports to be a caution letter and I don’t think this is what she served me. 

URGENTLY because 
— I’m applying for legal aid and MH and social work support to help me deal with this horrible problem
— The responses to my previous OIA and PA requests didn’t answer my questions. 
— The warning letter is the subject of a complaint I’ve made. 

I’m following with a PA request though PA portal

——————-4. Section from the warning/Caution letter served on me—this is far more threatening than Formal Warning letters are, as far as I can tell—and from the bad spelling etc I don’t think it’s at all official:

“…[P]lease take note and be advised that your actions are causing [accusers] to fear for their safety and as such constitutes breaches of the Harassment Act 1997 and this letter shall serve as your final warning. 

“You are hear by [sic] warned that should you carry out any further specified acts within the meaning of Section 4 of the Harassment Act 1997, as set out in the attached Appendix A, against the fore [sic] mentioned [accusers], you commit an offence of criminal harassment under Section 8 of the Harassment Act 1997, and could be liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of up to two years.”

———————- 5. Link to SOLICITOR-GENERAL’S GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF WARNINGS (which I sent to the sergeant of the constable who served me the warning notice) https://www.crownlaw.govt.nz/assets/Uplo...

——————— 6. The Sergeant’s response to me:

“That doesn’t apply in this case as per briars letter. Again please reframe for texting me”

——————- 7. Aaaand IR.Central@Police.govt.nz wrote to me on response to my PA request “All evidence of the claims made against me are withheld under “Section 53(b)(i) of the Privacy Act 2020: the disclosure of the information would involve the unwarranted disclosure of the affairs of another individual.””

Link to this

Caitlin McDonald left an annotation ()

Following my point 2. from my previous post, Michelle from IR.Central replied the below.

I note this sneaky behaviour Zane experienced, which consists of Police replying to things we haven’t asked. Michelle’s trying the “if you can’t understand the document, ask a lawyer” tactic.

Anything instead of answering the question!

However, she did send me the templates I asked for, and I’ll post them through a link in a separate annotation.

POLICE EVASIVE REPLY BELOW:

On 18/05/2022, at 11:16 AM, IR.Central <IR.Central@police.govt.nz> wrote:


Good Morning Caitlin,

I acknowledge receipt of your 6 emails since the 11/05/2022.

I also acknowledge your email below and can confirm that Constable Briar Gawn has sent you a letter explaining and answering your questions below.

If you do not understand the letter you received from Constable Gawn about the Harassment Act, I advise you to seek help from a Community Lawyer in your area to get further assistance. The link to Community Lawyers in your area is https://communitylaw.org.nz/centre/welli...

I will not be entering into any further correspondence in regards to the questions below.

You have the right to ask the Ombudsman to review our decision if you are not satisfied with Police's response to your request. Here is the link: https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

Kind Regards,

Michelle McGuinness
Central Region Information Request Team
Service Delivery

E IR.Central@police.govt.nz

image001.png

———————-/

From: Caitlin
Sent: Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:41 pm
To: IR.Central <IR.Central@police.govt.nz>
Subject: Repeat of Information Request IR-01-22-10589


Hi Michelle,

>> Repeat of Information Request IR-01-22-10589

PC Gawn didn’t answer my questions and it’s not at all appropriate for her to contact me as she is the person I have complained about for giving me false information in the first place. Sergeant Knight was also involved. Also, this is Police information, not PC Gawn information.

So: Please provide the information I asked for, and electronically please. The information is now overdue so please send it by the end of Friday 13 May.

Here is my request again:

Information Request IR-01-22-10589:

(1) What are warning notices under the HA1997? PC Briar Gawn tells me they are precursors to official warning notices. Are they templated? Who writes them???

(2) What is the process for issuing them? Such as what evidence threshold, who can issue them, what law they come under, do they need sign-off from anyone?

(3) How should they be served on the accused? What accompanying information should be given—such a reference number? A right of response? A communication channel? Privacy of accused? (Briar refused my invitation to come in, so my neighbours heard, including my crying .)

(4) What authority or legal significance do they have? What evidentiary bearing do they have on the accused? Where are they recorded and how long for?

(5) Briar said it was necessary to talk to me about correct conduct but it wasn’t in writing. Is that legal? To instruct the accused off record?
(6)What measures prevent officers acting as representatives for complainants against the accused?

Your answer:

After speaking with Sergeant Hamish KNIGHT, he has advised that Constable Briar GAWN will be sending you a letter within the next 14 days answering these queries you have regarding the Harassment Notice you were served. If you would like to speak to an Officer in person sooner than this, please visit your local Police Station.
Central District
Information Requests
Telephone: 105. . www.police.govt.nz

Thanks,
Caitlin.

Link to this

Caitlin McDonald left an annotation ()

Here is a link to a One Drive folder in which the two Harassment caution letter templates I’ve saved. Not sure how similar to other caution letter templates they are, but I do know they are not what the constable served me.

It’s all very secretive and I hope people will push for their rights and be skeptical. I never imagined I’d have to do this with Police.

Know your rights, people! Check all relevant laws.

https://1drv.ms/f/s!At4zuuKnQ-oCgaN94Ynx...

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
New Zealand Police only: