The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 June-Dec

The Press
Wednesday, June 16, 1993.

Police back creche-case chief

The police moved quickly yesterday to support Detective Inspector Brian Pearce after reaction to comments he made on the "Holmes" television show about his personal views on pornography.

Mr Pearce, a member of the Salvation Army and head of the investigation into sex abuse at the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre, said society was paying for its liberal views.

He asked whether anti-pornography campaigners such as Ms Patricia Bartlett and Cabinet Ministers Mr John Banks and Mr Graeme Lee should not be taken more seriously.

The Christchurch Central Police Station switchboard yesterday fielded many calls from the public supporting Mr Pearce's comments.

He appeared on the programme on Monday to respond to criticisms of the police investigation by one of the four women defendants who were discharged.

Mr Pearce said his own religious convictions had not prompted any more vigour from the police than they would normally use during an inquiry.

The Minister of Police, Mr Banks, and the regional commander, Assistant Commissioner Merv Derecourt, both supported Mr Pearce having a personal viewpoint

While Mr Derecourt said it was desirable that police kept such comments private, Mr Pearce had responded to a question factually and honestly.

"It is important to remember that the police are drawn from all walks of life and represent a cross-section of the differing views and beliefs in New Zealand society today," he said.

"However, personal beliefs in no way detract from the professionalism and training in the service or the way that inquiries are conducted."

Mr Derecourt said he. had the utmost respect for Mr Pearce and the police officers involved in the creche inquiry.

The decision to charge the women and a male worker, Peter Ellis, not only involved Mr Pearce, but the head of the Christchurch CIB, the regional police legal officer and the Crown Solicitor.

The fact that Ellis was eventually convicted by a Jury of sexually abusing children vindicated the decision to lay charges, Mr Derecourt said.