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Policewoman who worked as prostitute 'censured'


UPDATED 2.35pm Thursday July 20, 2006



A policewoman who worked as a prostitute to ease financial difficulties has been censured, Deputy Commissioner Lyn Provost said today.


Earlier police had confirmed the officer was based in the Auckland City district and was still in the force.


A source revealed to the Wairarapa Times-Age that the officer involved was a female who had earlier this year sought a second job because of financial problems.


The nature of the employment had come to the attention of authorities within the force in the past month, the source said.


Mrs Provost said this afternoon: "The officer concerned has been counselled. Under police procedures this amounts to a censure.


"I can assure the public that police have acted properly in this matter and that this type of secondary employment would never be approved given that the type of work is inappropriate and incompatible with policing."


Mrs Provost said she believed that commonsense dictated that the vast majority of police staff simply knew that sex work and policing were incompatible.


Jon Neilson, police media communications manager, earlier confirmed that a serving police officer had worked "for a limited time" as a prostitute.


Mr Neilson would not say when or where the officer had worked as a prostitute as these were "matters confidential between the employer and employee".


Applications for "secondary employment" were handled "on a case-by-case basis" and incompatibility of additional work with policing would be considered.


Police Minister Annette King said the matter was an internal police employment issue and it was inappropriate for her to make further comment.


John Saunders, executive assistant to the minister, said the ministry had known of the matter for some time.


An Auckland spokeswoman for the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective said that depending on the parlour in which she worked, the police officer could earn $500 on a Friday night


Asked if she'd heard of other police officers moonlighting as sex workers, she said: "We have law students that are sex workers, we have doctors that are sex workers, I mean anyone can be a sex worker."


Police secondary employment rules needed tightening following the case, NZ First law and order spokesman Ron Mark said.


Mr Mark said the matter raised questions about the vetting of police recruits and the protocols regarding serving officers who apply for secondary employment.


He said he would seek explanations from Ms King and Police Commissioner Howard Broad, "so there is a clear understanding for both the police and the public".


He added: "My concern is the association of criminal or gang with prostitution. It is commonly known that organised crime and gangs have a large investment in massage parlours and brothels right throughout the country. They always have had, and clearly always will have.


"There is the very real possibility that a police officer could be quietly moonlighting as a prostitute and under threat of being found out, to be subjected to extortion or demands to provide information or turn a blind eye to criminal activities."


He added: "I know a hell of a lot of police officers who struggle with the cost of living in Auckland but they don't all rush out and become prostitutes."

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