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Lessons to be learned from police investigation

The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had been laid because no girls had been ‘brave enough’ to come forward, it became known that four victims had been interviewed. Since then five have made formal statements.

“That Police have now decided – after three years – that they cannot prosecute anyone because of a lack of evidence must be hugely disappointing for the victims.

“We know some people are put off reporting sexual crimes because of the trauma they may be subjected to through the police and court process.

“Every agency involved in these investigations needs to be aware of the sensitivity around them, and act in the victims’ best interests.

“New Zealanders’ expectations would be that the handling of these cases will improve, not go backwards.

“Sexual assault is never acceptable and should never be tolerated,” Annette King said.