Acquittals Do Occur But Don't Forget Successes
For Immediate Release
Thursday, 29 May 2008
Acquittals Do Occur But Let's Not Forget The Successes
"The public should have every confidence in the work the police do on their behalf. The three recent cases were very difficult cases from the very beginning, requiring a great deal of investigation and gathering of evidence with reliance on evidence from many medical and forensic experts," Police Association Vice-President Stuart Mills said today.
"It's the Prosecution's job to put the evidence gathered to a jury and function of the Defence is to raise doubt - any doubt, and in our judicial system, when juries cannot be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, acquittals do occur," said Mr Mills
"Police too feel the disappointment the public feel over the recent acquittals - maybe more so, but let's not forget all the times juries have been able to convict based on the careful investigation and collection of evidence police have made."
"It is important that the public understand, that in these cases Police alone do not decide to lay charges. They present the evidence gathered to Crown prosecutors, who decide in conjunction with Police, whether there is enough evidence to lay charges and achieve a successful prosecution."
Mr Mills said, "In two of the cases Police were hampered by refusals to talk to them and we need to look at how parties involved in these kinds of cases co-operate with Police."
"To allow silence, effectively allows those who have committed a crime to hide."
"It's time the law relating to criminal procedure and evidence was reviewed. We do not allow people the same right in relation to Serious Fraud Office, Securities Commission, or Commerce Commission investigations," said Mr Mills. "How can it be that suspects of fraud and financial offending may be required to cooperate, while suspects of violent or sexual offending, or murder, may not."