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Roast Busters petition delivered to Parliament

Published: 5:56AM Thursday November 21, 2013 Source: ONE News

An Auckland mother has today delivered a 110,000 signature petition to Parliament calling on the Prime Minister to take action to "find justice" for the young women who were victimised by the Roast Busters.

The Roast Busters are a group of teenage boys from west Auckland who allegedly had sex with intoxicated underage girls and then bragged about it on Facebook.

The online petition, started by Auckland woman Jessie Hume, takes the form of a letter to John Key.

It reads: "It's entirely unacceptable that our society would let gang rapists go free for years while multiple young women have approached the police seeking justice for their rapes."

The letter asks Mr Key "find justice for these young women who will now have to live with the horrific memories of the actions of the Roast Busters."

It also asks that he "ensure proper protocols are in place so nothing so horrific can happen again, including ensuring the Roast Busters are charged and there are proper support services for people who have been raped or assaulted."

The delivery of the petition comes as police say they are making "steady progress" in their investigation into the Roast Busters.

"We are currently focused on speaking to a number of girls," said Detective Inspector Karyn Malthus.

"This is a very delicate and careful process and at this time our priority is the privacy, health and well-being of the girls, their families and caregivers.

"We're also very mindful of the fact that it's exam time, and we've been working around these commitments to ensure anyone who speaks to us is able to do that at a convenient time for them."

A team of 10 core police staff are working on the investigation, which is now known as Operation Clover.

Police Minister Anne Tolley has asked the Independent Police Conduct Authority to review the actions police took to investigate the activities of the Roast Busters group.

Govt has 'made the situation worse'

Ms Hume says one in four women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime.

"John Key was elected promising to give victims of crime 'the support they deserve' and yet a third of sexual violence victims services have been forced to cut support and staff due to government funding cuts."

The Government has also scrapped specialised pre-trial services for rape victims, she said.

"The Government simply hasn't taken this Roast Busters scandal seriously - in fact they've made the situation worse by refusing to take firm action.

"My message to Mr Key is that more than 110,000 New Zealanders say it's time to deliver on your promise - fund sexual violence services properly and fix the system that's failing rape victims."

Hume delivered the petition to Green Party MP Jan Logie and supportive MPs from across Parliament this afternoon. It is expected to be tabled in Parliament.

"This huge outpouring of feeling from around New Zealand against sexual violence shows that it's time for the Government to take strong action to create a better future for victims of sexual violence," Ms Logie said.