Patrice Dougan is the Herald's education reporter.

Police launch investigation into explicit Facebook page

Concerns were raised by an explicit Facebook page dedicated to the event. Photo / Andrew Bonallack
Concerns were raised by an explicit Facebook page dedicated to the event. Photo / Andrew Bonallack

An investigation has been launched into racist comments and allegations of sexual assault at a New Year's Eve beach party in Mount Maunganui, after concerns were raised by an explicit Facebook page dedicated to the event.

Teenagers on the social media page appeared to boast about sexual exploits on the beach, underage sex, allegations of sexual assault and rape, violent assaults and numerous fights, as well as nudity and photographs of drugs and drug taking.

There are pro-Mongrel Mob posts, as well as misogynistic and racist comments.

Most of the posts are too explicit to publish.

Western Bay of Plenty police have this afternoon announced they are investigating claims made on the page. It comes after the Herald published a story on the page last night.

Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair, acting area commander for Western Bay of Plenty Police, said he was disappointed by the racist comments posted on the social media page.

Police would look into the site and had already followed up on a post from a witness to an alleged assault on a young woman, Mr Wright-St Clair said.

No incident fitting that description had yet been reported to police, he said.

Officers were also looking into a video of what appeared to be an assault taking place during an altercation between two groups, Mr Wright-St Clair said.

"Police have worked hard over the years, together with Tauranga City Council and other community partners, to make this event a family friendly one and the comments on the Facebook site would form part of the debrief," he said.

"If there is any learning from the information on this site or other information from the community it will be taken into account for next year's planning."

A mix of alcohol and young people was still the number one contributor to violence and disorder on New Year's Eve in the area, Mr Wright-St Clair said, and pre-loading was a factor that police would look into at the debrief.

Anyone who was the victim of a crime, or who witnessed a crime at the New Year's Eve beach party, is asked to come forward to police. Specialist services were also available to assist victims who may need support or assistance, Mr Wright-St Clair said.

- NZ Herald

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