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Independent Inquiry Needed On Police Complaint

Independent Inquiry Needed On Police Complaint

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today demanded to know why rape allegations against three police officers were not independently investigated when Police Minister George Hawkins first became aware of them - before one of these officers was given the position of Assistant Police Commissioner.

"The fact that Mr Hawkins and the Prime Minister have known about this for years, and yet never ordered an independent inquiry, smacks of incompetence," Dr Newman said.

"The reputation of the New Zealand Police must be protected. The public must have faith that their police force is honest and trustworthy - how can they have such faith when the integrity and actions of one of our highest-ranking officers is in doubt?

"With the complainant having alleged a police cover-up, there is no other option but to order a complete independent inquiry. Such an investigation will ensure that, if these officers are vindicated, the public is confident that police are not simply looking after their own.

"This is something that should have been done long ago, before Clint Rickards became Assistant Commissioner. Not only do we need a full, independent inquiry into this most serious matter, but I also demand that the Minister and Prime Minister explain just why they did not address this issue sooner," Dr Newman said.

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