IPCA to investigate Roast Busters complaints

By Maiki Sherman

Incompetence or simply an oversight?

That's the question many people are asking, following revelations that four girls spoke with police in the last couple of years about the young male alleged sexual offending group, Roast Busters.

Throughout the past week, police have said their hands were tied in laying charges against the boys because they had not received a formal complaint.

However, today police have confirmed, one of the four girls did make a formal complaint two years ago.

At Parliament today, answers were being sought from Police Commissioner, Peter Marshall.

But Police Minister Anne Tolley said he had none, “He has no explanation, he is now talking to the district commander who himself has said he didn't have that information. So that is an internal inquiry that is happening.”

According to Peter Marshall, “yesterday evening I heard for the first time about a complaint having been received, having been dealt with having been investigated and within five minutes I let minister's office know about that fact.”

This clearly shows that, the Minister, the Police Commissioner and the District Commander knew nothing of the complaint. However, opposition parties claim they should have known and someone needs to be held accountable.

The Labour Party has laid a complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority. Anne Tolley has also done the same, which was an unprecedented formal complaint by a Police Minister.

However Te Ururoa Flavell feels caution is necessary, “I’m questioning the appropriateness of having the IPCA investigate its own, the Police. It should be done by an independent body.”

Shane Jones also revealed that one of the boys involved was the son of a police officer. This could also create a major effect on the handling of the case.

In February this year the Auditor-General stressed the need for Police to strengthen their training of officers around sexual assault cases.

Critics say work is still needed.

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