Roast Busters investigation "not robust and thorough"

By Ripeka Timutimu

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 "Roast Busters".

A story that shook that nation, has now shaken up the police force.

The judge of the case concluded that the investigations into the individual cases were not robust and thorough.

The findings also included police breached their own policy which says investigations of child abuse must be undertaken even if a young person withdraws their complaint.

The police also failed to check whether the young men had been involved in previous incidents.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush says, “I unreservedly apologise to those people, that’s why I sit here as the Commissioner, that we accept that our investigation fell short.”

For nearly 20 years, Louise Nicholas fought for justice after being raped as a 13-year-old.  She knows all too well how the system can often let down victims of rape.

Nicholas says, “It takes a hell of a lot of guts to walk into a police station and tell them about the harm that’s occurred to them because it is degrading for a person to do that.”

The Commissioner of Police says this is an isolated incident, but Nicholas says if the right training isn't given to police, they will fail again.

She says, “The process is brutal but you know what, at the end of the day, for the survivors I support in court whether it’s a conviction or an acquittal, they walk out of that courtroom with their head held high because they got the opportunity to tell their truth.”

The district commander for Waitematā will be apologising to those victims, though it may be a little too late for those affected by the actions of the Roast Busters.

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