New Year tosh on law and order – a bill to enable the Parole Board to do something it can do already

Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe apparently has spent some of his Christmas holiday time thinking about law and order and how to make us safer in our beds.  Let’s hope he comes up with some brighter ideas than the one he announced in a press statement yesterday.

The statement announced he has lodged a private member’s bill crafted – it seems – to ensure convicted murderers who won’t reveal the location of their victim’s bodies will be denied parole.

Macindoe explains:

“An important part of coming to terms with the death of a loved one is the closure of bringing their body home. Sadly, there are some offenders who refuse to disclose where the bodies of their victims are.

“This adds considerably to the distress of relatives who sometimes spend a lifetime agonising over what might have happened, and their inability to hold a funeral and lay their family member to rest.

Macindoe goes on to promise:  Continue reading “New Year tosh on law and order – a bill to enable the Parole Board to do something it can do already”

Andrew Little should check out hate crime policing in the UK – and the observations of British judges

News from Britain about the policing of hate crime laws should be must holiday reading for Justice Minister Andrew Little, who for several months has been considering making hate crime an offence in this country.

Stuff in March revealed a series of racially-motivated incidents in Christchurch after 50 people were killed in mosque shootings.

The incidents included a Muslim woman being denied entry to a bus and a swastika spray-painted on a fence in the spot where the alleged gunman was arrested.

We would have thought New Zealand had laws enough to deal with the miscreants in those cases but Little saw the opportunity for political grandstanding and declared he was fast-tracking a widespread review of this country’s existing hate speech legislation.

The review would include deciding if hate crime should be established as its own separate offence, as it is in the United Kingdom.

But one British initiative – the establishment in London of a police unit for tackling online hate crime – has brought charges against less than one per cent of internet trolls it has probed.

Continue reading “Andrew Little should check out hate crime policing in the UK – and the observations of British judges”

The restoration of strangler’s mana will be important for his prison carers under Kelvin Davis’ reform programme

The unnamed bloke who strangled British backpacker Grace Millane in a case of “rough sex” taken too far (according to his defence lawyer) was found guilty of her murder yesterday.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

There was a time when he could expect to be sentenced to life imprisonment, a misnomer for a jail term that might result in his being detained at her majesty’s pleasure for 20 years or so – perhaps less.

This would make him a prisoner or prison inmate.  But not on Kelvin Davis’ watch as Minister of Corrections.

Davis is keen to have miscreants’ mana restored in establishments where prison officers are encouraged to regard the people in their custody not as a ‘prisoner’ or ‘offender’ but as ‘men in our care’ (at least in a prison for men).

We imagine transsexual inmates might take grave offence at being regarded as “men in our care”, but prison bosses seem to have anticipated this and in Tongariro Prison the flawed citizens in their care are being called “paihere”. Continue reading “The restoration of strangler’s mana will be important for his prison carers under Kelvin Davis’ reform programme”

Don’t grumble if the police station is closed – the officers will be out on the streets lifting their productivity

As a follow-up to our post about police station office hours for the public and in the cause of balance, we bring positive news – or rather, we are passing on the positive news which the police delivered in a press statement,

It’s all about the productivity gains achieved – it seems – by officers getting out of the police station and on to the streets, aided and abetted by new phone technologies and the apps that optimise their effectiveness.

New Zealand Police has won a prestigious World Class Policing Award for its ‘more street than station approach’ Mobility programme, which has saved millions of hours of officers’ time.

Use of smartphones, other devices and Police-specific apps has resulted in productivity gains of more than 500,000 hours per year. Continue reading “Don’t grumble if the police station is closed – the officers will be out on the streets lifting their productivity”

The citizens of Tāneatua are promised a new police station – but they may find it is open for business only sometimes

A “best of luck” message should be extended to the good people of Tāneatua, who have waited patiently for a new police station.

Our experience suggests that if or when they get their new police station, they should check the fine print regarding hours of operation.

We make this suggestions after our experience trying to make contact with the forces of law and order at the Kapiti Police Station in Paraparaumu.

Local shops typically are open for much longer than the Kapiti police, according to this advice on their website: 

Kapiti Police Station

Open hours: 

8.00am – 5.00pm Mon – Fri

Weekends?

Nah. The criminal classes of Kapiti apparently observe government department working hours and take weekends off. Continue reading “The citizens of Tāneatua are promised a new police station – but they may find it is open for business only sometimes”

Oranga Tamariki blundered in Hawke’s Bay, true – but that’s no reason to disqualify it from dealing with family violence

 The strong whiff of “treaty” politicking has accompanied the intense scrutiny of Oranga Tamaraki in recent months, including the Waitangi Tribunal’s announcing an urgent inquiry into the child protection agency’s practices towards Māori children.

No-one, curiously, seems much bothered about the agency’s practices towards other children.

Oranga Tamariki staffers certainly invited closer scrutiny when they tried to take a baby from her mother in Hawke’s Bay in May, a bungled operation that was the subject of a Newsroom investigation.  This prompted howls of outrage, cries of institutional racism and the calling of national hui.

The tribunal’s Chief Judge Wilson Issac  said:

“I conclude there are sufficient grounds for an urgent inquiry into a specific contemporary issue concerning a risk of significant and irreversible prejudice to Māori arising from current Oranga Tamariki policy and practice.” Continue reading “Oranga Tamariki blundered in Hawke’s Bay, true – but that’s no reason to disqualify it from dealing with family violence”