A report in to the police handling of the “Roastbusters”, which highlights massive deficiencies in the way multiple complaints were handled and questions why police did not hold the young men involved to account, should be required reading for every officer dealing with similar cases, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.
Ms Ardern, who prompted the IPCA review of the case, said the report was damning
“The IPCA have demonstrated what I believe the public has instinctively felt for a long time –that far more should have been done to intervene and to prevent further harm being done.
“Instead, mistakes were made, complaints weren’t properly investigated, and the police had very little contact with the alleged offenders or their families.
“Perhaps the most damning finding by the IPCA is that Child Protection Team staff did not ‘properly evaluate all available offences when determining the outcome of their respective investigations’.
“Quite simply, there were options to prosecute that weren’t explored, let alone discussed with the victims.
“The report also highlights that even if a decision was made that the threshold for prosecution wasn’t met, police misjudged how important holding the young men accountable for their behaviour was, and contact with them was ‘inadequate or non-existent’.
“The most significant botch-up identified in the investigation was the lack of follow through of some complaints, meaning there was a failure to identify that the same group were involved in multiple cases
“There seems to have been very little focus on the young men who were identified by the victims. Their details were inaccurately recorded, and when they were finally interviewed, the IPCA labelled the process ‘unsatisfactory’ with a lack of preparation and knowledge required to hold the young men to account.
“This report makes for sober reading. Yes, there were attempts to do the right thing by the victims, but the failure to properly intervene at the start made victims of more young women down the track,” Jacinda Ardern says.