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20 August 2010 - The Independent Police Conduct Authority will carry out an assessment of progress made by Police in their investigation of child abuse, as it undertakes the second phase of its Child Abuse Inquiry.
The Authority has today released the Terms of Reference for Part II of its Inquiry, following the release of its report into Part I on 18 May 2010.
Authority Chair, Justice Lowell Goddard, says Part II of the Inquiry is designed to build on the 34 recommendations made in Part I, to further progress improvements to Police practices, policies and procedures for child abuse investigations.
“Part I of the Child Abuse Inquiry addressed systemic issues relevant to Police investigations of child abuse generally. Part II of the Inquiry will examine the Police response to the Authority’s recommendations, and will also specifically address the failures that occurred in the Wairarapa and elsewhere,” Justice Goddard said.
Since the release of the report into Part I, the Authority has continued investigative and analytical work and acquired further evidence, as part of the ongoing process of the Inquiry.
The Terms of Reference for Part II of the Inquiry are:
1.1 The Independent Police Conduct Authority (“the Authority”) is conducting an inquiry into practices, policies and procedures of the New Zealand Police (“Police”) in relation to child abuse investigations in New Zealand.
1.2 The Authority’s inquiry is in two parts. The first part of the Authority’s inquiry, reported on in May 2010, addressed systemic issues relevant to Police investigations of child abuse generally. The second part of the Authority’s inquiry will address:
(a) The delays in the investigation of child abuse files in the Wairarapa which resulted in the Police operation known as Operation Hope.
(b) The reasons why no significant action was taken to address the backlog of child abuse investigation files in the Wairarapa until Operation Hope began in late 2008, given the identification of a backlog of such files by some staff in 2006.
(c) The response of Police National Headquarters (“PNHQ”) to information and publicity in 2006 about delays in the investigation of child abuse files as a result of the backlog identified in the Wairarapa.
(d) The performance of each Police District in relation to child abuse investigations.
(e) Any significant service failures in relation to child abuse investigations identified within particular Police Districts and the response by those Districts to ensure such service failures are not repeated in the future.
(f) The response of each Police District to the Authority’s recommendations in Part One of its inquiry and any other relevant changes in each Police District to practices, policies and procedures relating to child abuse investigations.
(g) The response of PNHQ to the Authority’s recommendations in Part One of its inquiry and any other relevant changes in PNHQ to practices, policies and procedures relating to child abuse investigations.
Part I of the Inquiry arose following the discovery of a backlog of more than 100 child abuse investigation files in the Wairarapa CIB, where there had been little or no progress on the original complaint.
The Authority was notified of the situation in the Wairarapa in June 2009. It initially assumed oversight of the Police investigation and in July 2009 urged Police to conduct an urgent nationwide audit of child abuse investigations. In August 2009 the Authority announced it would conduct an independent inquiry in the Wellington District, and in December 2009 that was broadened to cover Police case management of child abuse investigations across the country.
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