Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Police handling of Rewa Investigation

IPCA delivers its findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation

Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police to identify Mr Rewa earlier as the serial sex offender.

Malcolm Rewa was arrested in May 1996 and convicted in 1998 on multiple charges relating to the sexual assault of 25 women spanning almost a decade. He was convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison and was later sentenced to a further 14 years, to be served concurrently, for the sexual assault of Susan Burdett.

In conducting its inquiry the Authority considered four complaints it received about the Police handling of the series of sexual assaults committed by Mr Rewa across a number of Police districts.

In releasing today’s report Independent Police Conduct Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers said the Authority found that Police failed to properly investigate information implicating Mr Rewa as the offender for the sexual assault of Ms A. In particular, Police did not obtain a statement from Ms A following her attack in 1987 regarding her identification of Mr Rewa as the offender, nor did Police attempt to make any inquiries that might have corroborated or called into question the alibi given by Mr Rewa at the time.

The Authority’s inquiry also considered public comments made by a Detective Inspector in 1998 to the media and Ms A, at the time of Mr Rewa’s trial. The Authority has found that these comments, including that Police did all they could at the time of the incident and that there had been insufficient evidence, were inaccurate and demonstrated that he did not have an adequate knowledge of that file.

“However, the Authority is unable to determine whether, if a proper investigation had been undertaken at the time, Mr Rewa would have been arrested and successfully prosecuted,” Sir David said.

The Authority notes that there have been statements in the public arena about this case, in particular in TV3’s 3rd Degree programmes where it was suggested that Police overlooked Mr Rewa’s involvement in six incidents, including three sexual assaults, at addresses in London Street, Ponsonby. The programme stated that Police failed to take action in these instances and implied that Mr Rewa was not therefore earlier apprehended as a serial sex offender.

“The Authority found that there was no action that Police could have taken in respect of any of the different types of offences which occurred in London Street that would have identified Mr Rewa earlier as the serial sex offender,” Sir David said.

It is also important to note that the Authority has not considered Teina Pora’s conviction for the murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 as part of its investigation as this is outside the jurisdiction of the Authority and is currently before the Privy Council.

The Authority did receive a complaint from Mr Pora’s defence counsel that the Police failed to disclose relevant information to them at Mr Pora’s first trial. In response to this the Authority found that Police did not withhold relevant disclosure material.

The Authority identified various aspects in a number of investigations where Police strategy and practices relating to the handling of investigations into sexual assault matters did not meet the expectations of policing at that time, such as poor practices in interviewing complainants; lack of supervisory oversight; and the failure to follow-up positive lines of inquiry, coupled with a greater priority being given, at the time, to other serious crime.

“There have been significant practical, scientific, and technological advances in policing since that time, therefore it would be unfair to compare Police actions of that era with the standards of today,” Sir David said.

“The Authority has found that at the time of the Police investigations, spanning from 1987 – 1996, it was not common practice for intelligence to be shared between districts, nor did a platform exist to allow this to occur easily. Police work at this time was primarily paper-based and it is unlikely that traditional methods of policing could have uncovered the operation of a serial sex offender earlier.

“Today there is a different approach to adult sexual assault cases, generally and progress has been made particularly with regard to the treatment of victims of sex crimes. This can be in part attributed to the 2007 Commission of Inquiry’s report into Police Conduct.

“The Authority is therefore satisfied that no changes are required to current practices, policies and procedures in response to the Authority’s findings,” Sir David said.


http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1407/IPCA_Public_Report__Report_on_the_Police_investigations_into_offending_by_Malcolm_Rewa.pdf

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

TV3 Video: Key 'Genuinely Couldn't Recall' Texts
Reaction: Greens | More

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel.

Ludicrously, the public has been given exactly one day to make submissions on these major infringements of their civil liberties. Despite Finlayson’s misleading signals on RNZ that these are only stopgaps until next year’s full review of our security laws, the measures in question will not, in fact, expire until 2018.

Why the insane rush? Good question. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news