Survivors of abuse in state care left frustrated by Police Commissioner's lack of answers at Royal Commission

The Police Commissioner has appeared at the latest Royal Commission hearing looking into abuse in state care. 

It comes after weeks of survivors accusing the force of negligence, racism and failure to protect them.

It's an inquiry into abuse spanning across 50 years - the survivors' chance to get answers from state entities.

But Police Commissioner Andrew Coster refused to speak beyond his time in the police force, spanning just 25 years. 

"It's very difficult for me to comment on that… I just don't know the answer to that… What I can't really speak to confidently is to what extent that was reflective of," Cmmr Coster said.

It was frustrating for survivors who've been waiting years for an acknowledgement from the Police.

"If he's here and he says he has no knowledge then who do we have to get here?" Paul Zentveld asked.

Zentveld is a survivor of the Lake Alice institution where he was subject to electro-convulsive therapy without anaesthetic at the age of 13. 

He says police were negligent and failed to lay charges.

"We weren't listened to, we weren't believed," Zentveld said.

"One of their great complaints is the fact they're traumatised by no action being taken at all," chair of Commission Coral Shaw said.

And the theme of this hearing is just as relevant today, the Police Commissioner saying many who commit crimes now are also victims of abuse themselves.

"We looked at a cohort of 63 young people who'd committed ramraid offences in Auckland. More than half of those presented to police as being present at a family harm incident before the age of three," he said.

He said the organisation has grown to more effectively provide support.

"Police is aware that there are more lessons to be learned in this space and to that end we keenly await the Commission's final report and recommendations," Cmmr Coster said.

But survivors say they need to be included and finally heard in order to make a change.