The Bazley Report is out, and can be viewed here.
The early focus will be on the numbers – 313 complaints of sexual assault against 222 police officers from 1979 to 2005. Of those 313, 141 were thought to have enough evidence to lead to charges or internal discipline.
While in no way mitigating that there has been some disgraceful behaviour, it is only fair to look at the fact that over that 27 year period there were probably 20,000 police officers or so.
Bazley finds no organised coverup, but many officers condoning or turning a blind eye to sexual activity of an inappropriate nature, protection of those officers complained about; negative, stereotyped view of complainants, and a culture of scepticism in dealing with complaints of sexual assault.
Also there were no polices or procedures to deal with such complaints against colleagues, and no guidelines on appropriate sexual behaviour – especially in terms of using their position to secure sexual favours.
There are 60 recommendations in all.
John Key has pointed out that sadly the Police may not be getting it. To quote him:
The police response to the comprehensive Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct is of deep concern, says National Party Leader John Key.
“Police Minister Annette King should be as concerned as I am at Police Commissioner Howard Broad’s written response which states: ‘the report does not point to systemic failings with police policy, procedures, standards, training or behaviour’.
“That flies in the face of the Dame Margaret’s press release which states that ‘the good work done by many investigating officers, particularly in the past 15 years, has been placed in jeopardy by systemic flaws that need attention…’
“Just as worrying is Dame Margaret’s comments that she is concerned the police impetus for change may not be sustained once the Commission has reported.