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Chris Ford: The Roast Busters case - how competent and willing are the Police to act?

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Chris Ford
Chris Ford

In the wake of revelations about the Roast Busters group who have allegedly engaged in illegal sex with under age girls through allegedly stupefying and then raping them, I agree with others across the political spectrum who are asking one question - why have the New Zealand Police have taken so long to act against this group?

The Roast Busters have been active on Facebook posting their vile, sickening, misogynistic, and sexist comments and boasting about their violent and potentially illegal activities for nearly two years now.

And the Police's only reaction in all that time has been to surveil and practically caution them. What a hypocritical, outrageous, complete joke of a response considering that police have only been too keen to act against, for example, peaceful protestors involved in numerous demonstrations down the years.

Literally nearly all law abiding New Zealanders are also asking as to whether the police connections of one of the alleged gang members has had anything to do with the slowness of the response. I note that, while the good men and women in blue have issued a statement saying that their investigations have not been swayed by the alleged involvement of one of their colleague's children, I still don't feel entirely assured.

Furthermore, I agree with comments made by, among others, Sue Bradford about the possibility that a sexist culture still permeates our police force, even in the wake of the Louise Nicholas case and the resulting Royal Commission on Policing which found that such a culture did exist.

That's why I believe that the Police Complaints Authority and also Police Minister Anne Tolley should initiate independent inquiries (after any prosecutions are concluded of course) on the issue of why it has taken so long for this alleged rape group to be acted against.

And as for threatened vigilantism against this group, I equally implore people not to do this. While feelings of revenge are entirely natural in these cases, the next step of meting out justice through the commission of equally illegal and violent acts is just plain wrong. However, I can see why given the police's poor response to this issue as to why some people might be thinking that way but even so, the slow reaction of police should NEVER justify resort to vigilantism. For those who might still be tempted, I suggest that you read feminist blogger Julie Fairey's blog on her Hand Mirror page to see more positive, proactive ways of how we can react against the rape culture that prevails in our society.

As for the Roast Busters - I'm just glad you've been busted, at least publically!

(NB: While I am a supporter of worker's rights, I do still feel it was appropriate and right that the employer of one alleged gang member has sacked him. Good on the employer on this ocassion!)




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