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Cop's actions 'extremely disappointing'

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/07/2017

A police officer convicted of harassing a Dunedin business owner after he was ticketed for parking in front of his business remains suspended while his bosses also look into his "extremely disappointing" behaviour.

Constable Jeremy Buis, 39, was sentenced to 200 hours community work and ordered to pay his victim $15,000 after earlier this year being found guilty of criminal harassment, threatening to do grievous bodily harm and intentional damage.

Suppression of his name and occupation was lifted on Tuesday, following an appeal by the local paper the Otago Daily Times.

Southern district commander, Superintendent Paul Basham, in response, says the actions of Buis, as described during the court hearing, were "extremely disappointing".

"The behaviour outlined in the court case is not reflective of the good work that is done by officers in the wider Dunedin community every day."

Local officers enjoyed high levels of public trust and confidence, and worked hard for that, Supt Basham said.

The inquiry team, which came from outside Dunedin, "worked tirelessly to ensure the case was fully investigated and all facets were looked into", he said.

Police had never sought a suppression order on Buis and took a neutral stance when the order was appealed by the media, he said.

Buis remains suspended while police carry out an internal employment investigation, Supt Basham said.

The two-and-a-half-year harassment saga started in 2012 when Danny Pryde asked for Buis's car to be ticketed when he parked in front of his engineering business, the ODT reports.

Buis responded with anonymous text messages and a campaign to paint Mr Pryde as gay using websites.

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