From a 2007 NZPA(!) story about Dame Bazely’s inquiry into police misconduct:
Police have “unreservedly and unequivocally” apologised to the victims of the actions of the “few officers” whose actions were highlighted in Dame Margaret Bazley’s report into police conduct.
Dame Margaret’s report, released today, slammed “disgraceful conduct” by serving officers, finding 141 incidents in which there was enough evidence for police to be disciplined or face charges.
She said she had reviewed 313 complaints of sexual assault against 222 police officers between 1979 and 2005 and said there were times when police protected their own.
Dame Margaret said she saw evidence of some “disgraceful” conduct by police officers and associates, involving the exploitation of vulnerable people and there were also incidents of officers attempting to protect alleged perpetrators.
Police Commissioner Howard Broad said police were already acting on the findings of the report.
“We have learned from this process. We will own and fix any problems and focus on the future of police and policing in New Zealand,” Mr Broad said.
Senior police management are not performing, inept staff are being promoted and efforts to change the culture have stalled, a damning report into the Police says.
The State Services Commission report, the third since the Commission of Inquiry led by Dame Margaret Bazley reported back in April 2007, said urgent, co-ordinated and decisive action was needed now to improve the police culture.
Broad was critical of this report, and he and Police Union boss Greg O’Connor basically rejected it and called for further reports not be made public because it damaged police morale.
And, if you weren’t already angry enough there were attempts to reform the laws around rape trials to try and improve the low complaint and conviction rate for this crime. Back in 2009:
Rape victims will be given sweeping new protections during trials, with planned rules requiring judges to agree before a complainant’s sexual history can be raised in court.
Defendants accused of rape could also face a new test of consent meaning a woman would effectively have to have said ‘yes’ to sexual activity rather than simply not saying ‘no’.
Courts would be required to consider what steps an accused person took to establish consent under rules designed to make rape cases less harrowing for victims.
It is understood the measures will be outlined by Justice Minister Simon Power today. He is also tipped to outline plans to prevent the wrongful removal from New Zealand of children in custody cases, among measures aimed at reforming child protection and Family Court laws.
Mr Power has already asked the Law Commission to investigate giving judges a fact-finding role in sexual violence and child abuse cases through the introduction of elements of the European “inquisitorial” style of hearings.
If adopted, that would mean judges would collect and determine the facts of sensitive cases rather than them being aired before a jury – a process many victims say is more traumatising than the sexual attack.
It is understood Mr Power wants to go further by restricting the ability of defence lawyers to discredit rape complainants by trawling through their sexual histories.
A proposal to get rid of jurors for sensitive court cases involving children or victims of sexual assault has been shelved by Justice Minister Judith Collins.
The minister said she had no interest in progressing her predecessor Simon Power’s plan to introduce an inquisitorial system in New Zealand.
Update: Also, I used to write satire!