Police banned from brothel raids

The Dominion Post 21 February 2009

A top policeman has banned officers from accompanying Immigration officials on potentially illegal brothel raids after a man leapt out of a window, suffering fatal injuries, during a raid being filmed for reality television…. Since the raid, a top Auckland detective has questioned the legality of the forays, documents obtained by The Dominion Post reveal. Officers have been banned from taking part in the Immigration-led raids for more than a year because of concerns about their legality.

“[The Immigration Act] doesn’t provide lawful authority for a warranted immigration officer to enter and search premises of licensed brothels,” Detective Inspector Scott Beard of Auckland wrote last November. “I have instructed that police staff are not to assist Immigration New Zealand visiting brothels or suspected brothels.” But the Immigration Department disputes the police interpretation, saying that the raids’ legality may have to be tested in court.