Top cop ignored abuse warning

The Dominion Post 28/09/2009

Police bosses as senior as the deputy commissioner ignored reports that hundreds of child abuse cases were languishing uninvestigated for years. Now staff feel they are being set up to take the blame. A Wairarapa detective wrote to deputy commissioner Rob Pope and other senior staff in 2006, saying she was unable to cope with the 140 “probably more” uninvestigated child abuse cases in the district and pleading for help. Police bosses publicly apologised last month for “unacceptable” delays, admitting they had a backlog of more than 100 child abuse files in Wairarapa, with one complaint laid 11 years ago. Other files languished for on average five years without investigation. Some children remained living with those alleged to have harmed them for all that time. The Independent Police Conduct Authority is investigating.