Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Narcissists and bullies

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  • Neil Graham,

    Is there a scientific basis for the various physical requirements or is it just the idea that you have to be as strong as a real man do to a real man's job?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Greg Dawson,

    I apologise if I came across as trivialising this or being flippant, that was not my intent.

    Its cool Greg no apology needed. I didn't mean to take away from the very important issues of how we deal with rapists right now, nor how the police are (mis)handling it. I agree we are trying to hold several lines of thought here. And we all get triggered in our own ways.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Fooman, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Superintendent Sandra Manderson is still active (I think). A recent interview:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7279408/What-stops-women-becoming-top-cops

    FM

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2009 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to stephen clover,

    I might be alone in this

    You are not.

    In any case, throwing more women at the police force in order to "civilise" it isn't really effecting culture change, is it?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I’m sure you’d be one of the first to cry foul if incidences of use of firearms or Tasers increased because officers were not required to meet such rigorous physical standards, but if you don’t have the strength the only alternative is to use a weapon.

    I would be quite careful of making the connection between the physical standards and the Taser use. Also, weapon use is not the only other resort. Outnumbering is the main tool in the police arsenal.

    Furthermore, we're talking about people who investigate rape complaints, here. That's not a job notorious for the requirement to grip 15 year old boys. It's about doing basic investigative work, which requires no strength at all. When it comes time to arrest some big violent bastards, then sure, call the goons who can crack walnuts with their fingertips, but you're overtalking how important that really is in a huge array of police work. Indeed you're missing the point that even being that kind of person gives you a very different perspective.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    perhaps police encouraged these young women not to take it further :(

    Your use of the conditional in that sentence is charmingly optimistic, Kyle.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Furthermore, we’re talking about people who investigate rape complaints, here. That’s not a job notorious for the requirement to grip 15 year old boys. It’s about doing basic investigative work, which requires no strength at all.

    It's a job that requires very specific skills in handling victims without re-traumatising them. Skills that do not seem to have been displayed or even possessed by the interviewing officer in this case. Grip strength isn't one of them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Rageaholic,

    I have a feeling we may find out that formal complaints were not exactly encouraged.

    I know a woman who wanted to make a formal rape complaint to the police but when she went to the police station they told her not to because she was "just drunk." I expect that something similar happened here.

    Eden • Since Nov 2010 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • The Ruminator, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s a job that requires very specific skills in handling victims without re-traumatising them

    I think that’s a really important point. There’s been a bit of a lynch mob mentality that’s broken out – which I completely understand – but we need to remember that our first worry should be the victim’s welfare.

    The post I had sent to me anonymously yesterday broke my heart. And I’ve seen some shit. It made me sad about New Zealand and made me take a look at a few things I thought were truths. How we’re raising our boys seems to be creating some problems. As the writer wrote It’s not necessary to sexualise women in the media and portray men as masculine fucking machines with no emotion

    Maybe we should start with teaching people that implied consent – or even consent – is not enough. Sexual congress must be met with enthusiasm from both parties otherwise just fucking don’t.

    Since Apr 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Brodie Davis,

    This whole formal complaint thing just seems like weasel words to me.

    Given how vague Superintendent Searle was about exactly what constituted a complaint, you may well be right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Danielle,

    In any case, throwing more women at the police force in order to “civilise” it isn’t really effecting culture change, is it?

    Hard to say yet, the numbers are still way skewed towards men. See Fooman's link. I'm not much of a fan of quotas generally - I just think that the police force have testing that is highly skewed towards qualities men have, and I question the need for that. Firemen, not so much, but we're not talking about firemen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover, in reply to BenWilson,

    In any case, throwing more women at the police force in order to “civilise” it isn’t really effecting culture change, is it?

    Hard to say yet

    I’m not really sure what’s going on here (disingenuous facetiousness!?), and while I’m loathe to speak for Danielle, I rather think her point was that was that what’s needed to effect culture change in the police force is to “throw” significantly better culture at it.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to BenWilson,

    I actually AM a fan of quotas, but I think the discussion of more women in the police force has a “let’s get women in here to fix the ladyproblems!” undertone, when what we should really be thinking about is fixing the crappy-at-dealing-with-sexual-assault police culture (which is mostly male but not always) at its source.

    ETA Snap, Stephen!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    The physical requirements of police arguement is pretty minor, as a proportion we do not have as many women sworn officers as Australia or the U.K. Also, the real lack of women police officers is the difference between constables and senior ranks (the ones that run investigations). See the graph on page 22 of this
    http://www.police.govt.nz/resources/2008/nz-police-barriers-to-recruitment/nzp-barriers-to-recruitment.pdf
    Each of those women constables who can meet the physical requirements for being a constable would be able to meet the physical requirements for the senior ranks. Any argument about meeting the requirements is both rubbish and a distraction. Women are meeting the physical requirements to enter the building of policing, they are just stuck in the lobby as they aren't getting to the member's club on the first floor.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to stephen clover,

    Sure. I'm not suggesting that more women in the Force is the only solution. It's part of a number of things that need to change. If I don't even mention the potential benefits of females in the Force, then that leaves the argument Matthew was making of a certain drop in police quality completely unanswered. But feel free to dispute that females on the force might have a positive impact, or tell me what you think that positive impact would be that I missed. I'm sure there's plenty more things than the one I considered the most important - that they represent the society that they live in, that they bring a perspective to police decisions that has to date been mostly been solely the perspective of big men with crushing grips. Maybe that change of perspective is utterly unimportant, and all the women will be nut-crushing Uncle Toms too. I just don't think so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s a job that requires very specific skills in handling victims without re-traumatising them. Skills that do not seem to have been displayed or even possessed by the interviewing officer in this case

    And are, I suspect, present in a vanishingly tiny number of sworn officers. It's really a job for psychologists with specialist training.

    Talking about how interviewing rape victims needs special skills is spot-on, but ignores the fact that to get to the point of being that interviewer one must first make it through police college, a year of being a traffic cop, and a year of being a general duties cop. Then, and only then, do they get to start down a career path in CIB or whatever. So screening for particular personality traits because they're particularly useful if an officer goes into a particular career stream once they've completed their probationary period ignores all of the other stuff that they have to be able to do in their first two years (and potentially the rest of their career) as a police officer.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    Perhaps a tighter discussion would be about quotas for senior positions, in which the power to open stuck jars is less important than the power to unstick frozen cases.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    feel free to dispute that females on the force might have a positive impact

    Who was disputing that? I certainly wasn't. I was disputing that quotas that need to be filled, regardless of the number of applicants who actually meet the current criteria, are any kind of solution to getting women into the police. Quotas pretty much invariably get achieved by dropping recruitment standards, because if they aren't getting sufficient quality candidates in the quota group now they won't be getting sufficient quality candidates in the quota group in future if all else remains equal. The exception is if there's no targeted recruiting activity, which is very definitely not the case with the police trying to recruit women. Making it a place that women want to work, and want to stay (and can stay), is far more useful and long-term sustainable.

    Oh, and on the grip strength, men don't need to have twice the strength of a 17-year-old male. You skipped the bit where the police are measuring combined-hand strength while the figures I linked are single-hand strength.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Then, and only then, do they get to start down a career path in CIB or whatever

    Do you think that makes sense? IIRC it's different in the UK, where graduate entry into the police force can bypass the whole business of working your way up from the shop floor which seems to be quite an anachronism in a time of much more specialized employment. If interviewing rape victims is so specialized, perhaps it should be done by specialists, just like forensic analysis is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    Perhaps a tighter discussion would be about quotas for senior positions

    And that actually would be a useful tool. Above about sergeant the police ceases to be representative of the force at large, and after inspector it's very much a white men's club, with the odd Maori thrown in for a spot of ethnic diversity.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Quotas pretty much invariably get achieved by dropping recruitment standards

    There is another discussion going on at PAS which might cause you to think twice before making that argument.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Quotas pretty much invariably get achieved by dropping recruitment standards, because if they aren’t getting sufficient quality candidates in the quota group now they won’t be getting sufficient quality candidates in the quota group in future if all else remains equal.

    The only recruiting standards you actually mentioned, though, were strength ones. Now you're saying that it all doesn't matter anyway, and it's the culture and the job that's blocking women. Can we move on?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to BenWilson,

    But Ben, if we move on from this Very Important Derail, Matthew might have to consider and fully accept that the police were deliberate lying shitwads in this case. Do you really want to do that to him?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    If interviewing rape victims is so specialized, perhaps it should be done by specialists, just like forensic analysis is.

    I believe that there are some rules about who can take formal statements, in terms of legal validity (sworn officers have statutory authority to witness documents), but that's a strictly legislative matter that can easily be fixed. It is, however, a potential issue. Fixing it so that victims of sexual crimes can have their statements taken and witnessed by a suitably-warranted non-sworn police employee would resolve this kind of problem.

    Being a sworn officer carries various requirements that make sense when one's most fundamental duty is to enforce the law. Allowing some side-stepping of that for specialists who engage in specific duties that need particular powers that are otherwise only available to "holders of the office of constable" is already provided for with jailers, motorway support officers, and various other non-sworn support roles. Expanding the law to allow the Commissioner to warrant personnel in specific roles to take victim statements is a minor change to the existing law.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    {ETA: This is pretty much what Ben said more succinctly above while I was typing…]

    Have the Police considered having different entry avenues for different parts of the police force?

    I remember nurses once arguing for pay equity with police. I’d extend that analogy to the health sector in general. When you go to a hospital, there are nurses, orderlies, radiographers and radiologists, phlebotomists, doctors (and all the specialties of doctors), psychiatrists, physiotherapists, midwives… a whole range of different professions and specialities within the broader category of medical professions. They have different roles in treatment, and different training to match. Some of their skill sets cross over – most of them can probably take a blood sample, for example. But lots of them don’t overlap. Yet we don’t expect all medical professionals to start out as orderlies or nurses.

    Couldn’t the same be said about the police? Yes, you might have to have physical presence/strength/confidence if you’re going out on Saturday night patrol on the main st (orderlies); or responding to a callout (paramedics). But why do you need that same physical fitness if you’re visiting a burgled home the day after the event? Or taking witness statements?

    Maybe there is a good reason for having a single entry point, but I’d need to have someone explain it to me.

    ETA2: I can’t see why you’d need to have a sworn/non-sworn distinction. You could have specialties and still have them all sworn.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

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