No police misconduct after man arrested for suspected breach of bail conditions

Published Date: 04.12.2013

A Police Ombudsman investigation has found insufficient evidence to support allegations that a police officer lied about having called at a house to check that a man was complying with a curfew.

The subject of the curfew lodged a complaint with the Police Ombudsman’s Office after being arrested for a suspected breach of his bail conditions, which required him to be home between 8pm and 8am.

He said he had in fact been home and in bed when police claimed to have called shortly before midnight one evening, and should therefore not have been arrested the following day.

The man told a Police Ombudsman investigator that he found it hard to believe that police had called at his house as he had two dogs which bark when anyone calls at the door. He said the dogs had not barked and neither he nor his partner had heard any knocks at the door. His account was corroborated by his partner.

However, the police officer was adamant that he had called at the house. He said he had knocked the door up to eight times, and had also shouted through the letter box, all without response.

His account was corroborated by another officer who was with him at the time, and by police records which showed that the matter was referred to a more senior officer who arranged for the man to be arrested the following day.

Having reviewed the evidence, the Police Ombudsman found insufficient evidence that police had lied about making the check call, or that the subsequent arrest had been inappropriate. No disciplinary action was recommended against the officer involved, and the complaint was closed as unsubstantiated.

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