Witness threat cases ‘common’
Christchurch police Detective Inspector Malcolm Johnston, an officer for 25 years, said yesterday witness intimidation happened in most violent-crime cases, and while the Noble/Samson situation was extreme, intimidation was not unusual.
“It is very, very (common) and I know other staff have experienced similar levels. Intimidation can be as little as chocolates and flowers and a promise to never do it again, and that is why there is a low conviction rate for serious domestic violence.”
Johnston said comments from “ill-informed” lawyers that the low conviction rate for violent offences in Christchurch, including domestic violence, was the result of lax police investigation were not correct.
“That couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a huge commitment to these investigations and it is my experience that the low conviction rate for domestic violence rests entirely on intimidation and threats.”