The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that Police’s investigation into a matter reportedly involving school-age students posting lewd photographs online was thorough and robust.
On 8 and 9 November 2015, media reported that Police had “let school boys off with warnings” after the boys had allegedly posted lewd photographs of intoxicated girls to a private Facebook page as part of a competition.
These articles generated significant public comment and concern. Comparisons were drawn with the alleged offending of ‘Roastbusters,’ and the Authority’s criticism of aspects of Police’s handling of those matters. The media labelled this matter ‘Roastbusters II.’
The Authority received three complaints from concerned members of the public. In light of the significant media and public interest, the Authority reviewed the Police investigation, which was carried out in September and October 2014 and concluded in December 2014.
“The Authority found that the investigation was conducted in an exemplary manner. The investigation was robust and thorough, undertaken and completed in a timely manner, and complied with law and policy,” said the Chair of the Authority, Judge Sir David Carruthers.
“Police properly evaluated all available offences when determining the outcome of the investigation, and appropriately considered alternative action. The detective in charge of the investigation maintained excellent communication with all parties involved, including the school.”
The Authority will not comment on the specific details of this incident. However, it is in the public interest to note that some of the information previously reported by the media is not supported by fact, and comparisons with the ‘Roastbusters’ matter are not justified.