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Online harassment 'requires more law enforcement'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The case of an Indian student being defamed and threatened online is an indictment of flawed police practice, not existing legislation, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

The harassment and subsequent police inaction was reported on One News on Tuesday.

"Mr Singh has been let down by police inaction, not by a lack of legislation," says Mr Seymour.

"The Crimes Act section 311(2) is clearly meant to cover the types of violent threats made toward Mr Singh, and the Telecommunications Act and Harassment Act can also be used to address this type of cyber-bullying, said Mr Seymour.

"Police inaction in such a serious case is not justifiable when there are clear avenues for prosecution. I am forced to agree with the New Zealand Police Conduct Association - this is a case of selective law enforcement.

"ACT stands for a tough stance on crime via thorough enforcement of existing laws - not via adding more cumbersome and complex legislation which may come with unintended consequences.

"I will be meeting with Minister Adams to discuss the proposed Harmful Digital Communications law. We must ensure that existing legislation is truly inadequate before passing any new restrictions on online communication.

"ACT opposes any law which restricts speech under the pretence of preventing offence."

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