Friday, July 18, 2008

Police Priorities Skewed

Simeon and I are pleased to welcome Chuck Bird onto the blogging team on the Section 59 blog. Below is Chuck's first article.

(An email to Leighton Smith, radio talkback host)

I received the following email yesterday.

Exclusive Child HARD-CORE ! Young and innocent little boys and girls, 8 - 13 years old.
Come also see new videos with small girls!

I have not included the website references.

I called the police and am appalled their lack of interest. They told to print it off and lay a complaint at my police station. I told them I would prefer to email. They were not interested. I told them they should get their priorities right and give a priority to real child abuse instead of harassing good parents.

I will probably print off a copy but not go to the police station but send it to the Minister of Police and the opposition spokesman.

Do you think I am unreasonable? Plenty of people would think if the police do not really care why should I go to any bother as the will file my evidence in the round bin.

Feel free to rear this if you choose. The officer who was not seriously interested name was John Fraser. No rank or department given.


1 comment:

Chuck said...

Hi Andy

Thanks for posting my email to Leighton. I should have checked my spelling before sending it but I was so upset at the police total lack of interest in serious child abuse. I might add that I was not entirely surprised with the attitude of the present police force who are in the pocket of this corrupt Labour Government.

The following is an email I sent to Cindy Kiro regarding her supporting the police in their neglecting the duty in regarding an eleven year old girl who was sexually abused.

The same police force that failed to prosecute David Benson-Pope although there was a prima facie case against him for child abuse as he was a Labour Minister.


Dear Dr Kiro

I am posting this email to you on Muriel Newman’s New Zealand Centre for Political Research Forum. I will be happy to post your response.

I am writing in response to your article on Stuff, “Keeping our children safe”.

I realise that it would be pointless to try and debate the issue of parent’s rights with you as you are primarily concerned with keeping your highly paid job and pushing the ideologically driven Labour government line which undermines parental authority.

Do you recall when Phil Goff floated the idea of 12 year olds being allowed to have sex? There was a public outcry. I might have missed but I heard no comment from you. Did you condemn Labour for flying that kite?

I also cannot recall hearing any comment from you regarding the hunter in the Taupo area leaving a 2 and 5 year old in his car for two hours while he went hunting recently. The 2 year old went missing in the bush and was fortunately found after 50 searches looked for about five hours. The police are still deciding whether to charge him. I presume you have heard of this case.

The case that I really take exception to is the one below. Would kindly explain why you are going on with a lot of nonsense about a wall of silence and not demanding that this young man be prosecuted and the mother as well if as alleged in the article that she was aware of the sexual nature of her daughter’s relationship and choose to do nothing about it?

As your employer I urge you to get your priorities right and forget about some child getting a flick on the ear and give this case urgent priority which is long overdue. This case is open and shut. If you cannot ensure this case goes to court I suggest you resign so that maybe your replacement will place the welfare of children ahead of pleasing his or her political master.

Chuck Bird

Minor has baby: no charges laid
5:00AM Sunday November 25, 2007
By Stephen Cook

Police chose not to lay charges against a 21-year-old who fathered a child with a 13-year-old girl - even though he confessed to police he had been having sex with a minor.
The pregnancy was highlighted last week by Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro, who used the case to illustrate “the wall of silence” protecting people who committed child abuse.
The girl had started having sex from the age of 11 and Kiro claimed that no one in her family would come forward and shed any light on who was responsible.
However, the Herald on Sunday understands the father turned himself in to police but was given only a verbal warning by officers.
Rape Crisis is demanding answers about why police never charged the man with having sex with a minor. It says the police’s failure to do so sends extremely worrying mixed messages to teenagers.
A conviction for having sex with someone under the age of 12 carries a maximum prison term of 14 years. Having sex with someone under the age of 16 carries a 10-year maximum prison term.
Sources involved with the girl’s family told the Herald on Sunday the man had been involved in a sexual relationship with the girl since she was 11. When Child Youth and Family (CYF) became aware the girl was pregnant at 12, she was removed from the mother’s care and placed with a family member. Four months ago the girl gave birth. She was 13.
It is understood the 21-year-old is still involved in a relationship with the girl and has supervised visits with his son. During the day the baby is cared for by a family member, allowing the girl to remain at school.
A source told the Herald on Sunday the girl’s mother was aware her daughter’s relationship was of a sexual nature, but chose to do nothing about it. For five months, the girl had managed to hide the pregnancy, and authorities became involved only after being alerted to the case by the girl’s doctor.
It was then that CYF intervened. CYF is understood to still be monitoring the girl, but with the refusal of police to act in the case it is hamstrung over taking any action about her relationship with the baby’s father.
Asked about police protocols in the case of someone having sex with a minor, a spokesperson at Police National Headquarters said charges were laid only if there was sufficient evidence and proceeding with a case was in the public interest.
Rape Crisis spokeswoman Sandz Peipi said the fact the 21-year-old had been involved with the girl when she was only 11 was “disturbing and quite perverse”.
Whether the sex was consensual was irrelevant because of the girl’s age and the man should have been charged by police.
The fact he had admitted committing “statutory rape” meant police had more than sufficient evidence to go on, Peipi said. She was also surprised police did not believe it was in the “public interest” to lay charges.


Keeping our children safe
The Dominion Post | Monday, 04 February 2008

It's not okay to hit our children, ever.

I have never met a person in prison or a youth justice residence for violent offences who received too much love and too little physical punishment. The opposite is true. Violence taught them to be violent.

Because of what I see, and all the information showing bad behaviour by adults leading to bad behaviour by children, I supported the Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline, known as the Repeal of Section 59, or the anti-smacking law.

My objective is to see the best for all children and young people in New Zealand, including ensuring their safety. They deserve the chance to grow up free from violence.

Much of what is reported about smacking cases where police talk to parents for disciplining their children is one- sided. Some of what is said is politically motivated with no consideration for children and young people. The child's side of the story is seldom heard or listened to by this very vocal minority. Some of them don't even believe children have rights.

In reality, these cases often end up in court, this wasn't the first time the parent disciplined their child with the use of violence and, in fact, they face charges of criminal assault. These are the same charges they would have faced before the law change.

One of the most important things that has happened since the law change is we have seen communities say no to violence against children. Far from dobbing in apparently good parents, they have decided to keep the children and young people in their community safe.

I continue to urge people to speak out where they see unacceptable behaviour; this is the last line of defence for some children. Babies and young children can't and don't fight back.

WHEN I talk to children they tell me they think physical punishment is wrong and ineffective. They think it is about adult issues, and children are used to bearing the brunt of frustrations that may have nothing to do with them. They believe that adults hit children because they would be in trouble if they hit other adults; or they would be hit back.

It is time for old dogs to learn new tricks. Adults have to take responsibility for their own problems and not take them out on children. Punching a child in the head is not discipline and it may well kill them.

Wanting an excuse in law for assault against a child is a very tangible way in which New Zealand continues to say violence towards children is okay.

Physical punishment is a breach of children's rights as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC).

New Zealand has signed this international human rights treaty that brings together a universal set of standards for children. UNCROC recognises children as active participants in their own lives and places obligations on adults to respect and provide for the best interests and welfare of children in their care.

One of the most significant achievements of UNCROC is that it challenges adult perceptions of children as the property of their parents. This is a point that some parents and proponents of religious or political ideology cannot accept.

New Zealand has a poor track record when it comes to protecting our children from violence with a reported child maltreatment mortality rate higher than most countries within the developed world.

The motives for physical punishment may be reasonable to the person administering it as they believe they are teaching the child a lesson.

However, physical punishment is a poor teaching method. At best it may result in immediate compliance. In the longer term, the evidence shows that the use of physical punishment increases the likelihood of disruptive and aggressive behaviour in children.

It teaches children that the use of violence is an acceptable way to solve problems or to resolve personal differences of opinion. And so the cycle continues.

If anyone requires information, guidance and advice on why it is not okay to hit our children I urge them to read the literature my office has available or to talk to us.

* Dr Cindy Kiro is the Children's Commissioner (