14 Nov 2013

Free phone line set up over teen sex ring

7:24 am on 14 November 2013

Police have set up a free phone number for anyone with information about a group of Auckland teenagers who boasted online about having sex with drunk, under-age girls.

Police have posted a video on on their website and Facebook page and on YouTube asking for victims of the group to call an the free phone number.

The head of the investigation into the so-called Roast Busters group, Detective Inspector Karyn Malthus, is encouraging victims or anyone else who wants to talk to the inquiry team to call 0800 672568 or 0800 Op Clover.

She says the 10 main staff members working on the investigation are trained child protection and sexual assault investigators, and any potential victim who calls the 0800 number will be treated with compassion and respect.

Staff from Child, Youth and Family, the Accident Compensation Corporation, the Ministry of Education, and counselling services, are also helping the investigation.

In the police video, Detective Inspector Karyn Malthus says her team are trained in child protection and sexual assault and other agencies are on hand to help.

"I can assure you that when you call you will speak to a member of that team. You will be treated with the utmost professionalism and respect and your call will be treated in confidence," she said.

Rape Prevention Education executive director Kim McGregor says it's the first time she has seen the police approach an investigation this way, with support agencies linked in to the team monitoring the number.

However, Dr McGregor says there do not appear to be any sex offender treatment or Kaupapa Maori agencies among the groups ready to provide advice to the investigation team.

Ruth Amato is helping to organise a march against the handling of complaints against group says the video and the 0800 number are clearly trying to talk directly to young people in their own social networks, but it's two years too late.