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
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
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.