Murdered Indian-origin liquor store owner's family makes peace with Auckland Police

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Auckland (New Zealand), May 15 (ANI): Family and friends of murdered Indian-origin liquor store owner Navtej Singh have decided to make peace with Auckland's law enforcement authorities over what they initially labelled a flawed investigation report.

On Saturday, they said that the report's conclusions would not bring Navtej back, and hoped it would prevent the police from making similar mistakes in the future.

Aucland Police had earlier dismissed the idea that they had failed in their "duty to protect".

The New Zealand Herald quoted family spokesman Daljit Singh, as saying: "It was not a single mistake by any one department, but a procedural failure. The district commander came to us this morning and apologised to the family. Navtej will not come back with this report. However, it will not happen with anybody else in future."

The New Zealand Sikh Society had described the delay in getting to Navtej Singh as "a complete disaster".

However, Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope rejected the authority's suggestion that the police failed in their duty of care.

"A regrettable series of events came together to create a delay and ideally we should have got to him sooner. We have apologised to the family for this. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that it was Anitelia Chan Kee who pulled the trigger and is now serving a 17-year prison term for Mr Singh's murder," the paper quoted Pope, as saying.

Pope further said the police had already made changes after investigating their handling of the case.

"We looked at all aspects of our response and identified several improvements, particularly in regard to the way we take command ofserious incidents and control the response of our staff in the field," he said, adding that extra staff were now working in Counties Manukau as a result of a Government initiative were helping ease some of the pressures.

Staff were working with store owners in the area to reduce the risk of their becoming targets of crime.

Police are now required to make a formal response to the authority's recommendations. (ANI)

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