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Time to eradicate sexism in police force

Time to eradicate sexism in police force, say Greens

The announcement of wide-ranging terms of reference into the allegations of police rape provides a long overdue opportunity to eradicate sexism in the police force, Green MPs Keith Locke and Sue Kedgley said today.

Ms Kedgley, the Green Party's Women's spokesperson, said many women had lost confidence in the ability of police to protect them and to advocate for them, as a result of the recent revelations.

"It is vital that underlying attitudes of sexism and abuse of women raised by the recent allegations are exposed and addressed, no matter what discomfit they may bring. By getting to the heart of allegations and exposing the underlying culture that allowed them to occur, we change basic attitudes and values and ensure that the police treat all women with dignity and respect.

"It would be a tribute to the bravery of the women who have come forward if their actions help bring about a fundamental change in the way police regard and treat women."

Keith Locke, Green police spokesperson, said the Greens have been calling for an inquiry that goes beyond the historic rape claims against a number of Rotorua officers. "An inquiry that looks into police attitudes to women and systemic failures in the way police deal with complaints against their own is long overdue.

"However, we do think it is necessary for the commissioners to consider the way in which the Police Complaints Authority has investigated the Rotorua complaints. This is particularly important because the Independent Police Complaints Authority Bill is currently before Parliament, and we need to make sure debate around it is informed by a full understanding of passed failings in which police protected their own.

Mr Locke said that privacy considerations should not be used as an excuse to leave the PCA out of the inquiry. "The commission could simply hold relevant hearings in private," said Mr Locke.

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