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Deborah Coddington's Liberty Belle

Liberty Belle

Deborah Coddington's Liberty Belle

There was a good doco on TV last night. Can’t remember the name, or which channel, but it involved stakeouts to catch men trying to buy sex from young girls of 14 or 16. No, this wasn’t in Bangkok, but in Auckland. South Auckland. It’s now illegal to buy sex from anyone under the age of 18, but since the law was changed last year, there have been no prosecutions, or even arrests, by the police even though we keep being told that more and more under-age girls are working the streets. Apparently in Auckland they work around Manurewa because they get beaten up if they go into Karangahape Road or Fort Street in the central city. Manurewa happens to be George Hawkins’ electorate, but George wouldn’t answer any questions last night. At least, not as Minister of Police. He eventually did as the local MP.

A local senior policeman was interviewed. He said they prefer to try and keep the girls safe by picking them up and taking them home. Given the background of these kids, I doubt they stay home. ‘Home’, for these poor girls, is usually more dangerous than the streets. That’s why they’re on the streets in the first place. But the disgraceful admission on the programme from the police was that because they believe men go to pubs before they go out and pick up prostitutes, breath-testing them or picking them up for bad driving means they get caught before they commit the crime. Oh please!

This is not fault of the police on the beat. It is purely and simply this Government’s policing policy. George Hawkins has proudly stated in Parliament that because burglars, rapists, crooks often drive too fast, they get caught when they’re speeding! No wonder this country’s in the midst of a crime wave. No wonder 111 calls are abandoned. George Hawkins, who draws a Minister’s salary, gets driven around in a limousine, takes all the other Cabinet perks, is a failure as a police minister and should resign.

Meanwhile these poor little girls - and they are only girls - get left out there in extremely vulnerable situations. The doco team easily set up several stings. If they were police they’d have arrested several men that night who knowingly agreed to pay $80 for sex with a 14-year-old girl. But this Government would rather have the cops outside the pub carpark, breath-testing the men just_in_case they decide to buy an underage girl on the way home.

This is worse than lunacy. It’s child abuse and it’s an outrage.

Yours in liberty,

Deborah Coddington

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