Shocking IPCA Report Confirms Criminality Of Roastbusters Actions And Police Failure

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Today’s ‘part two’ of the Independent Police Conduct Authority report into police handling of the Roastbusters case vehemently supports the claims of advocates and activists, despite a year and a half of claims by police that they did all they could. The report concludes that the actions of the Roastbusters were “in some cases criminal” and that police “let down” the community.

The media release is a brutal indictment of police handling.

The report seems to infer this scenario is a one-off, but it is likely advocates working at the ground level would strongly argue otherwise. Remember we are living in a country where a rape survivor was recently asked in open court if she felt herself to be a “slut”. The truth is it is common to go to police and have them poorly handle cases or disincentive survivors from proceeding with a complaint. This needs to end. It’s time it was addressed. This situation is not good enough.

Specifically the report finds:
– Police failed survivors.

– The young men’s behaviour was clearly unacceptable and “in some cases criminal”.

– Senior police failed to consider all available offences; this would likely mean there ought to have been a prosecution.

– Police failed to act as agents to secure community safety through appropriate communication with the young men’s parents and other community groups, such as schools.

It seems a prosecution ought to proceed. However a one-off prosecution is not enough. It is imperative that we do not let this issue slide. People working at the community level on rape prevention and education are utterly clear: this kind of issue happens all the time and is part of the larger range of barriers that prevents reporting and ultimately, solutions.

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It is – in all ways – inappropriate that inadequate police handling stands in the way of community safety.

This is precisely why we cannot stop yapping at the heels of this government until they ensure that at all points community safety is prioritised. The report urges for a more widespread investigation into practises to ensure this isn’t endemic. When such investigations are carried out it is important police are not an echo chamber unto themselves. They need to consult with Rape Prevention Education, TOAH-NNEST, rape crisis groups and community groups such as schools and churches, they need to carry out proper research with rape survivors, they need to work with justice system officials and educate themselves on how to intuitively handle rape cases at the community level at which they occur. Rape is the kind of crime that begs community-level engagement and management. It’s not a dark alleyway crime; it happens in dating situations, it happens at schools, it happens with friends and it happens in families.

The situation is a mess but there have been plenty of community-initiated reports into what needs to change. It’s time those changes were made. We cannot keep letting survivors down. A judicial system that is no longer adversarial but inquisitorial will remove one of the biggest barriers into reporting and allow police to proceed with more cases. It will be a good step forward to ensure that rape can be handled by courts and ultimately instead of rape being illegal ‘on paper’ will help rape become demonstrably illegal in real life.

With all of this the starting point is to listen to those affected and together take up the charge we are a country that stands united and says ‘no’ to rape.

Do not stop making a noise. Make sure you outwardly support all reforms suggested by experts in the survivor sector. Email your MP. Write to the papers. Blog about it, talk about it, make it known to your MP that you want a solution to this unacceptable crisis where only 1 out of 100 rapes results in a prosecution.

We want rape-free communities and plenty can be done to ensure the basic commitment to our safety is upheld by police and justice system officials. When laws are made and these groups are established their promise to us is that they will do their best by us to protect us. Right now that isn’t happening.

Here is the whole statement. It speaks for itself:

MEDIA STATEMENT, EMBARGOED: 12noon Thursday 19 March 2015
‘Roastbusters’ victims let down by Police – IPCA finds
An Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today has found a number of significant deficiencies in the original Police investigations into the alleged offending by a group of young men in Auckland who called themselves the ‘Roastbusters’.
Independent Police Conduct Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers, said the officers investigating these matters tended to approach each case on an individual, case-by-case, basis simply to consider whether there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the offenders for sexual violation.
“In the Authority’s view the officers should have identified the connections between the various cases and worked with other agencies to develop strategies to reduce the recurrence of what was clearly unacceptable and, in some cases, criminal behaviour. Victims were let down by their failure to do so,” Sir David said.
In November 2013 the Authority received a number of complaints relating to the ‘Roastbusters’. As a result the Authority began independently investigating two aspects of Police actions. The first aspect, which the Authority publicly reported on in May 2014, considered the information provided by Police to the media concerning Police involvement in these matters. The second, which is outlined in today’s report, considered the adequacy of the initial Police criminal investigations and the handling of any complaints or reports received by Police from members of the public between 2011 and October 2013.
In November 2013 Police informed the Authority that between 2011 and early 2013 they received reports of four separate incidents relating to the ‘Roastbusters’. During its investigation the Authority identified that Police also responded to an additional three reports of concern involving young women and this group of young men. The Authority therefore investigated a total of seven matters to determine whether there was any Police misconduct or any failure of Police practice, policy or procedure in their handling of them. This involved interviewing officers, reviewing Police files and any additional relevant documents, and accessing records held by CYF in relation to each of the cases.
In releasing today’s report Independent Police Conduct Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers said in a number of cases there were deficiencies in the investigation practices, including a failure to follow up and pursue positive lines of enquiry.
“The supervisory oversight of the individual cases was inadequate and the investigating staff failed to properly consider all available offences in determining whether or not to prosecute the young men,” Sir David said.
“The Authority found that all of the Police officers involved treated the young women and their families with courtesy and compassion and maintained good contact with them.
“However, the officer’s contact and interaction with the young men who were the subjects of the investigations and their families was inadequate or non-existent. The failure of Police to make contact meant the young men’s parents were never made aware of several of the incidents and details of their sons’ involvement and therefore they were unable to intervene or act to address the behaviour.”
“Despite the failings in this case, the Authority has not found any evidence of ongoing and widespread poor practice nationally in the Police investigation or prosecution of child abuse or sexual assault cases.
“Police in Waitemata have introduced a number of safeguards by way of better supervision and oversight of cases, and better liaison with CYF, to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence of the deficiencies identified in this case.
“The Authority has recommended that an audit be carried out by the National Manager Adult Sexual Assault/Child Protection into the current cases being investigated by the Waitemata Child Protection Team to determine whether any individual shortcomings still exist,” Sir David said.
“It has also recommended that the Police review whether any other practice or policy issues need to be addressed, either nationally or in Waitemata, and in particular whether more emphasis is required on prevention.
“The Authority has asked the Police to advise it of the outcome of their audit and review, and any subsequent action the Police intend to take as a consequence.”

19 COMMENTS

  1. If all women of NZ threaten to NOT vote for the National party at the next general election because of their seemingly happy acceptance of such poor policing and near encouragement (by the fact that a prosecution is highly unlikely as the Police will do all they can to NOT prosecute) then the National Government would do something about this mess.
    How many senior and middle ranks policemen involved in this sordid affair have been sacked? Probably NON. And so we must assume it is totally acceptable behavior in NZ, by the ‘criminals and the police’ and so it is guaranteed to HAPPEN AGAIN.
    Utterly unacceptable in a democratic society, but the Nat Government is SILENT (and thus we can only assume HAPPY) about it all.

  2. Heads should roll for this, but probably instead we will just get a sudden surge of flag mania from John Key.

    • John Key is part of the problem ,he covers up everything that might impact him.Women are not treated with respect and will be blamed for the rapist behaviour. The government and police are not interested in the problem that why in Uk ministers got away with raping young boys but its all coming out there now.
      Its time that rapists got their just deserts and the police and government had better step up to the plate,rape is criminal assault not boys games.

  3. Isn’t sociopathy narcissistic egotism ? The kind of thing promoted on TV as being ‘ good ‘ . Like the ex judges behaviour on The X Factor ?
    Rape , and violence toward women is just a couple of symptoms of sociopathy ?
    People can be broken over night . With one horrific incident . And that one event can ripple down through generations and can spread out like a virus . The cops should have used their powers as guardians against that awfulness . They didn’t , therefore they should be sacked . They’re clearly of no use to us .

    I’ve just paid a speeding ticket . I paid it on- line . When I went to finalise the ‘ deal ‘ I noticed that Westpac had reached into my pocket and removed $2.40 for the luxury of the transaction . I think it was titled a ‘ convenience fee ‘ . To my knowledge, I had no option but to pay Westpac their ‘ fee’ .

    Banks , banking on human misery and misfortune ? Surely not ?

    If the police are , by their very actions , collecting revenue for Westpac , did the Roast Buster cops call Westpac’s lawyers to ask how best to deal with the rising situation ?
    If not , then why did I have to pay Westpac a fee for my law breaking ? How is it that when I break a Crown Law , I have to pay a private corporation ? Is Westpac complicit in creating criminals ? I could assume so if they’re making profits from criminal behaviour surly ?
    If Westpac played an even remote part in the Roast Busters saga by being the Bank handling fees , fines and costs do they also play a part in creating their industry raw materials ? Like creating criminals , sociopaths and deviants ? Does Westpac understand how to make criminals ? From poverty , dysfunction and the soulless pursuit of self interest ?
    Just askin’ .

    • Huh?

      This is about police not taking complaints of sexual assault seriously, not properly investigating those complaints.

      It’s not about bank fees Countryboy.

      They’re not the same thing

  4. And to the sicko trolls who voted against these comments- I voted a positive.

    The things these right wing neo liberal creeps will do in their obsessive love affair with a lying bastard who doesn’t even give a rats arse about even them.

    Brain dead zombies.

  5. More police incompetence….I can guarantee nothing will happen to the perpetrators or the investigating officers. Corrupt politicians equals corrupt cops.

  6. I dont think this was a “shocking” report at all. It reads more like a whitewash. Given the length of the report it says very little. THere are no examples, little detail and, towards the end an attempt to minimise the damage to the reputation of the police.
    Bearing in mind the furious response of the public when the details of misbehaviour first emerged, its hard to escape the conclusion that the response of the police was willfully negligent and deliberately obstructive.

  7. [You’ve obviously missed your one week Time Out notice in the comments section, “Re-watch Moment of Truth and realise it was right all along”. All further posts from you will be deleted until 8pm 25 March.- ScarletMod]

  8. let’s take a look at the Mike Sabin investigation. How long is that going to take? Is it enough time for people to forget then sweep it under the table just like the Roastbuster’s case because one of the boys dad is a policeman and the other a well known celebrity.

    The Police are building themselves up for most people not to trust because the government is not a trustworthy body anymore. Their corruption has rubbed off on our police force.

    Good on you Mr. Peters remind the north of why they lost their Member of Parliament. WHY WE NOW HAVE TO HEAD BACK TO THE POLLS.

  9. Too right Theresa, Northlanders and the rest of New Zealand need to remember WHY THE BY ELECTION IS ACTUALLY TAKING PLACE.

  10. Well, I do remember all those police officers and commissioners trying to defend their (in)actions when the Roastbuster issue was a major topic reported on in the media.

    They tried hard and seemed to succeed in convincing too many that their hands were tied, due to legal constraints and the alleged reluctance of the victims to come forward.

    Now the shameful truth has come out.

    It has once again proved my constant suspicions well founded and justified, that the police can in too many cases NOT be trusted!

    Coverups, lies and deceit, and it seems to never end.

    But this is not restricted to the Police either, we should dig deeper into other matters dealt with inappropriately by other government agencies and departments.

    I am waiting for the trial of Mr Tully the Ashburton shooter to reveal what was really going on with him and WINZ.

    Too many get labeled as villains and so, but much happens for reasons, and when you cannot even trust the police, can we trust the GCSB and SIS, or our soldiers going to Iraq?

  11. Not surprising. Also, not surprising the lack of support from most of middle NZ for victims of sexual assault.

    Louise Nichols and Roastbusters cases prove that sexual assault victims will not be treated decently by NZ police.

    Too many myths still prevail about sexual assault which a great number of people truly believe. That women especially lie about rape, make false rape claims in large numbers destroying the lives of good men. That a prostitute cannot be raped. That clothing or drinking leads to rape.

    All these ideas in the heads of our mostly male police force, and in the heads of a great many women too.

    Roastbusters was one of the clearest cases of horrific sexual assault, gang rape actually, on underage girls by boys three and four years older than them. It was premeditated, they boasted about it, video was taken which could have been useful evidence if the police bothered to look. I’m not going to detail what “roasting” is, look it up on google. It’s a truly hideous horrible gang rape experience.

    Those girls lived a nightmare. Some went to police. And the police failed to properly investigate. Because, well, don’t you know girls lie about this kind of stuff and they were drinking alcohol so maybe it was consensual and they’re not just regretting what they did and so cry “rape”.

    Last time I checked, getting drunk meant I was going to have a hangover. Not get gang raped.

    I don’t think anything’s going to change in NZ. It’s been like this all my life, and I too have been a victim of pedophiles. No justice for me. And my uncle was a policeman who knew too!

    Now we have a destructive movement called MRA’s perpetuating the myths I outline above as if they’re something new. Seriously wanting to keep women back in the kitchen making sammiches. It looks like it’s getting worse for those of us who aren’t male.

    Stop the world, I wanna get off!!!

  12. The comment about police echo chamber says volumes to me.
    Arthur Thomas, Peter Ellis, Nicky Hager, Teina Pora and the roastbuster predators are all examples of cop culture.
    The police have made up their mind before hand and then acted accordingly.

  13. I am a long time supporter of the Police, and in general I believe they do a good job. But they are far from perfect, and in this case there has been a demonstrable failure, for which there must be accountability. It is my view that senior figures within the police should lose their jobs over this, and possibly whoever was Minister of Police at the time. That will go some way to restoring public confidence where it is currently eroding.

Comments are closed.