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Lessons must be learnt from wrongful imprisonment

Wayne Mapp National Justice Spokesperson

17 October 2001

Lessons must be learnt from wrongful imprisonment

National's Justice spokesman Wayne Mapp says the imprisonment of three teenage girls for a crime they did not commit is a terrible mistake that must not be repeated.

"The Police Complaints Authority must now urgently deal with this case. How these young girls came to be wrongfully convicted and imprisoned must be addressed so that it does not happen again.

"The Court of Appeal has raised serious concerns about the conduct of the investigation. The Police Complaints Authority had the matter brought to its attention in April. Now that the Court has dealt with the issue the Police Complaints Authority must get on with its investigation.

"There will be heightened interest in the Police Complaints Authority's investigation so that everyone can learn from this terrible mistake.

"When young 15 and 16 year old girls are imprisoned in an adult women's prison for seven months for a crime they did not commit, we need to be particularly vigilant. It would have been a traumatic experience for them and their families.

"It is essential that the police learn from this case so that they can improve their investigation systems, especially for cases involving young people. The outcome of the Police Complaints Authority will be keenly awaited," Dr Mapp said.

Ends

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