An internal police audit has revealed potentially forgotten files and active cases spanning more than 15 years in Marlborough.
The case management overview, released under the Official Information Act, offers an insight into the handling of investigations around the country.
The document rates Marlborough as an effective policing area, with the average case completed in less than half the time of the national average.
However, there are 10 active cases in the system from 2002, with the oldest being 5234-days-old.
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Tasman District Commander Superintendent Mike Johnson confirmed the oldest case, as of March 16 this year, related to firearms but disputed its status as an active investigation.
The file had most likely been reactivated after the original offender applied for a firearm or changed their address, Johnson said.
Although it showed up as an old case Johnson maintained it was merely police process to oversee prior offenders.
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“It’s not that we haven’t resolved it, it’s because of our internal processes that we’ve reactivated the original file and it comes up as an old case,” he said.
“The policing around firearms is a focus for us, and rightly so.”
The other nine cases from 2002 were also weapons-related and fell into the same category, Johnson said.
The oldest non-firearm case was a burglary from 2011. The investigation into this case was still in progress, though Johnson did not have further details.
The case management document also included a list of 20 “possibly forgotten” cases in Marlborough.
The majority of these cases were before the courts or in the process of case completion, with the longest being 469-days-old, but Johnson said he would not describe the files as forgotten.
All such cases had completed their investigations and required the administrative side to step in and seal the file, he said.
“This is us asking a question, why is this [case] where it is?” he said.
“The wording does spark an emotive response, but it is there to prompt action.”
The monthly internal review was to oversee the case processes and management of each district in the country, Johnson said.
The median case age of 45 days in Marlborough was well below the national median of 124 days.
The document awarded each district a score out of 100 for their case management process, and Marlborough achieved a score of 97.
This is compared to the Tasman district average of 65 and national average of 72.
Marlborough should feel reassured by these figures as they show a police force which was more active than the national profile, Johnson said.
“Marlborough is doing a great job. I’m reassured by these numbers,” he said.
“I’m confident the public are getting a good service as I look across this.
“This document is about us testing ourselves and looking for the gaps where we’re not getting it right. It’s very robust, it’s about holding ourselves to account … it stacks up very well for Marlborough.”
Marlborough area commander Inspector Simon Feltham said the case management report was an internal administrative document which was difficult to fully translate to audiences outside of police.
The overall rating showed the Marlborough police area performed at a high level in relation to the measures used in generating the report, he said.