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Police arresting their own

Monday 7 Jan 2013 7:25 a.m.

The Police Association says even one arrest was

The Police Association says even one arrest was "too many"

By 3 News online staff

Sixty-seven police staff have been arrested in the last three years for offences such as dealing drugs, drink-driving and assault.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor says the figures, released to the New Zealand Herald under the Official Information Act, show the police force is "utterly thorough" when it comes to investigating itself.

"If there were no police officers being arrested and charged ever, I think the public would have rightfully more concern that there was covering up," he told the paper.

"No one who has had anything to do with police - particularly lawyers who look after police officers - would ever say anything other than they're absolutely and utterly thorough."

In the year to August, 10 staff were arrested. Charges laid include assault with a blunt instrument, theft of property under $500, theft of a motor vehicle and drink-driving.

In 2011, 28 were arrested on charges such as assault with intent to injure, unlawful sexual connection with a female, participation in organised criminal group and impersonating a police officer.

And in 2010 there were 29 arrests on charges including dealing LSD, unlawful possession of a restricted weapon and obscene exposure.

Mr O'Connor said even one arrest was "too many".

Det Supt Sue Schwalger, national manager of professional standards, told the Herald police take a "zero-tolerance" approach to crooked cops.

"The police have one of the consistently highest ratings of any government agency in terms of public trust and confidence, and we want to ensure that remains the case," she says.

"However, these numbers are not reflective of the efforts of the remaining 12,000 police staff who come to work every day to make a positive difference to make our roads and communities safer."

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