Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Travelling Gravely

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  • Bruce Wurr,

    Totally agree with you Shep. Those idiots were out to get someone and Kerry's son just happened to be the soft target.

    Off current topic - but BLOODY HELL! Send Jed Town over to London with his band! I can't believe they're playing those songs!!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    personally i've always relied on being big and scarey.

    Che, that's so sweet of you to say that. Big? Yes. But scarey? Not to anyone who knows you.

    OTOH, I'd feel very safe walking anywhere with you... maybe that height does have some serious advantages.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    The public's visceral response to criminal offending, especially violent criminal offending, is wholly understandable, even if it is sometimes misdirected.

    I think the UK public is onto something with the parenting thing. Parenting classes should be either state funded and compulsory for first time parents and/or introduced into the school cirriculum.

    http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/~/media/assets/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/cc_summary%20pdf.ashx

    • 55% of the public say crime is the most important issue facing Britain today.

    • Only 33% of the public are confident that the Criminal Justice System meets the needs of victims, but 79% agree it respects the rights of offenders.

    • 73% of the public say that hearing about someone being a victim of crime in their local area affects their feelings of safety and makes them cautious, angry and sad.

    • 91% of the public think the basic approaches and standards of service delivered by the police should be the same wherever they live.

    • Better parenting is the top thing (58%) the public say would do most to reduce crime and 58% of the public think that Friday night is the most important time for youth facilities to be available.

    • 90% of respondents to the review think the public are not told enough about what happens to those who have committed crime.

    • When asked what is the most important issue facing Britain on crime, the top answer from the public (29%) is that sentences are too lenient.

    • 90% of the public agree that community punishments for crime
    should involve some form of payback to the community.

    • When asked who they would trust as a source for national statistics on crime, the top answer from the public (48%)
    was an independent watchdog.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    But scarey? Not to anyone who knows you.

    i've been invited to have a beer in a black power HQ, if that was any indication.

    though mostly as a reliable customer.

    and being 6'5' has gotten me out of a few scrapes. managed a road-rage incident in melbourne by just warning the nutter not to try anything, "he'd regret it"

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    Interesting feedback - I had wondered if the other guys in the car might be filming the encounter for show on youtube, but my boy reckons they were too far away. As I've talked to folks about this, it's clear that such incidents aren't uncommon at all. There's always been boofheads looking for fights, but these incidents seem a bit different - I've been hearing of people getting smacked hard in the head from behind, as they ambled down the road, lots of guys-in-cars leaping out and doing someone over just for the hell of it.

    While my own first response would be to screech my head off and kick the attacker in the nuts, I worry that any response might incur retaliation from hidden weapons and result in worse injury for someone.

    As for the police - well, there was no 'serious injury' and the car was too far away to get plates - no doubt someone else in Palmy was getting dealt to far worse that night.

    I see women in the states are loading up with tasers. The hairspray's a good option - ta!

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Parenting classes should be either state funded and compulsory for first time parents and/or introduced into the school cirriculum.

    That is a brilliant case of the misdirection you just referred to.

    We can't even get through all the curriculum requirements properly now without adding more crap that has nothing to do with us into it. I teach teenagers about Ancient Rome, Native Americans, Government and Tourism Development (amongst many other things), and would rather not have the kids being taught about when to go to bed, what to eat, and how to paint a fence instead of tag it or teach their parents to teach the same thing. 95% of our students know all that stuff already and practice it as do their parents. Those causing all the grief are an incredibly small minority and to be patronising to those who are normal human beings because there's two punks in the class or a couple of hopeless parents (and I meet parents regularly who are 100% competent) is complete and utter BS.

    Also as a first time parent I refuse to be forced to give up my time to learn what I already know.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I see women in the states are loading up with tasers. The hairspray's a good option - ta!

    I'm pretty sure you don't want to encourage your son to take up smoking. Nonetheless, the most effective offensive weapon I've happened to 'just have on me' was the ol' 'lit cigarette to the face'.

    I've been given actual weapons to carry to protect myself (usually when being the girlfriend of the big scary guy has become more dangerous than not) and never felt comfortable having them, let alone using them. But my sixth form boyfriend did teach me to open a butterfly knife in a manner so intimidatingly skillful that hopefully it would ensure never having to use it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I am not buying this suggestion of sprays, homemade or commercial.

    So you're strolling home, and someone comes up to you, and hits you.

    At what point do you manage to get your spray out of your bag or pocket, make sure the nozzle is facing the right way, point it at your assailant and give them a good dose? Sounds like a recipe for getting the shit kicked out of you while you desperately fumble around, I reckon.

    The one and only reliable strategy for any reasonably fit person is to run away, if possible while screaming loudly for help. Your boys were outnumbered (two people possibly with weapons in the car, remember).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    What is it with random violence? I remember marching many, many years ago to reclaim the night, for women. Perhaps we need to reclaim our streets? I, like Emma, am not keen on carrying anything dangerous, and I'm not good at screaming. When I'm frightened, it just doesn't happen. My defense mechanism has always been to have a very, very good grasp of obscene language. It's helped me in the past, I know. Now? I don't know. I very rarely walk anywhere by myself, and never at night. It's an interesting question to cogitate on.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I'm perfectly happy to walk by myself at night, it's something I enjoy. I guess I reclaimed the night by never giving it up, rather than spending one night marching in a large loud whistle-equipped group.

    As far as effectiveness goes... in the Castro in the 80s when gay-bashing was a popular sport, people would put a symbol in their window. If you were being attacked and you saw that sign, you knew you had a safe place to run TO. The more people who are willing to help and get involved, the more likely it is that someone will help you when you need it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    95% of our students know all that stuff already and practice it as do their parents. Those causing all the grief are an incredibly small minority

    True. Dumping it on teachers to solve and parenting classes ain't the answer either. Of course the naughty boys know it's naughty! That's the whole point, for them. Just like the bag-snatcher and home invader in Aucks know it was wrong.

    I don't have an answer, but I suggest that it's all a rather inevitable result of everyday life in the bottom reaches of capitalism's maw. People push their own self-destruct and rage buttons when they can't find a "place to be" and are not equipped to find or make options for themselves that are hopeful or even possible.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    To invoke the 8 tribes analogy, pretty Grey Lynn, whereas talkback is generally Papatoetoe.

    PA System - there's a bit of Raglan and Cuba Street in there too.

    Talkback - much of it overlaps with the Balclutha tribe as well.

    Maybe I should spend more time in Raglan ;-)

    I'm perfectly happy to walk by myself at night, it's something I enjoy. I guess I reclaimed the night by never giving it up, rather than spending one night marching in a large loud whistle-equipped group.

    No one tell my mum please, but I pretty much subscribe to this school of thought. However I do assess the situation; time of night/shoes I am wearing/locale/level of intoxication/visability/number of people abroad all come into it and ultimately it is risky behaviour compared to walking around in Tokyo at 4am.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I guess I reclaimed the night by never giving it up, rather than spending one night marching in a large loud whistle-equipped group.

    Well, quite. I used to walk home alone from town at night/early morning all the time in my early twenties. And then I moved to the UK. I must admit that I always felt far safer walking down the main roads in London at 2am than I ever did walking down the dark end of K Rd or Ponsonby Rd. Albert Park felt safe to me, until the night I was jumped on. Once again, my foul mouth came to the rescue. Funny how people who are about to violate you can't stand the word "fuck" coming out of your mouth. It wasn't the first time I ever used it, and it wasn't to be the last. Now? I've been in too many hairy situations in my 20's to bother all these years later with putting myself in the way of anything so bothersome.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I don't have an answer, but I suggest that it's all a rather inevitable result of everyday life in the bottom reaches of capitalism's maw. People push their own self-destruct and rage buttons when they can't find a "place to be" and are not equipped to find or make options for themselves that are hopeful or even possible.

    And I think the culture warpigs would be deluded if they think the "5 C's" will solve everything: Church, (the) Cane, Curfew, Conscription, and (Gas) Chamber.

    On a different note, CCTV's are proposed for Courtenay Place. But are they any substitute for cops on the beat?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Quite, DeepRed. Note that the police are quoted as saying they were useful in apprehending criminals. However, what we really want is prevention. It is some comfort when the person who gave you the basj is identified, but better that it didn't happen at all.

    Do CCTV cameras deter crime? I don't know. I doubt very much that they deter alcohol or drug related assault - the kind of impaired judgement that makes you think that smacking someone up is a good idea is not likely to consider the likelihood of apprehension and punishment.

    We do know though that visible authority figures do have a deterrent effect.

    I am firmly against extending police powers and surveillance but totally in favour of spending large sums on more cops on the beat.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I am firmly against extending police powers and surveillance but totally in favour of spending large sums on more cops on the beat

    I'd vote for that one.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    The best thing is having other people around (sober), many eyes make a safer city.

    CCTV means the cops will get there if something is going on long enough, but they're not the solution.

    Better policing of intoxication (serving food), crowded bars, and more mixed use of an area might dillute the situation a bit as well.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Pepper spray & Tazers kill, but to my knowledge a police dog never has. Therefore as scary as they may be I'ld like more dogs on the beat than a more heavily armed force.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Note that the police are quoted as saying they were useful in apprehending criminals.

    O'rly? Coz that's not what the UK experience is. In fact, in London only 3% of street crime is solved courtesy of CCTV. That's in a country that kinda defines pervasive surveillance. So I'd be very, very sceptical about the value of cameras in solving crime.

    I am firmly against extending police powers and surveillance but totally in favour of spending large sums on more cops on the beat.

    Agreed, but they should be ring-fenced to reactive/proactive patrols that cannot be dragged into traffic work or long-term investigations. I understand that they might be stuck doing scene guards for a night or two, or put onto canvassing a neighbourhood after a murder, but that should be the exception not the rule.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Pepper spray & Tazers kill, but to my knowledge a police dog never has. Therefore as scary as they may be I'ld like more dogs on the beat than a more heavily armed force.

    Pepper spray doesn't usually kill on its own. Deaths as a result of its use are statistically extremely rare. I think there's been one in NZ. Tasers are a bit trickier, and I do oppose them (due to the likelihood of abuse), but they're definitely a less-lethal weapon.

    Dogs have a couple of problems. 1) in crowds, they are easily confused. A suspect who runs into a group of people while being pursued may lead to an innocent person being mauled. 2) dogs may not work well together. One of the comments in the internal review of the Wallace shooting was that, even if a second dog had been available (due to police reluctance to deploy dogs alone against a suspect like Wallace), there's no guarantee that they'll be able to be used as a team. They don't train in cooperative tactics. If you have to tackle multiple people simultaneously, as happens not infrequently, how do you get around the issue of only having one usable "weapon"?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Regarding the kid that got beaten up, this happened to me when I was 17 or so. I knew the guy, reported it and the (UK) cops did take action and he got fined (and scared into mending his ways for fear of further life-stuffing-up stuff).

    Assuming the lad didn't know who the miscreants were and didn't get a description, then there isn't really much to do. If you think the cops were being needlessly slack, then file a complaint.

    I think as you get older this sort of thing stops happening - at least it has to me. Also, I think it happens in average suburban neighbourhoods. Classy places it doesn't happen coz the thugs aren't there. Actual bad places (like the East End of London where I used to live) you don't seem to get much trouble as the stakes are higher (random kid, or tooled up drug dealer?).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I once had the misfortune to be walking home one night, after a few beers, when I was approached by a group of likely looking lads. Their demeanor was less than convivial and the, apparent, leader asked me for a cigarette in terms that indicated that I should have no say in the matter. I whipped out my tin of rollies and offered them saying "sure Mate, How's your Mum, haven't seen her for ages. Your little brother still at school?" He looked at me in a quizzical fashion as he explained that he couldn't roll a cigarette and could I do it for him and his Mum was fine thanks and his little brother was, indeed, still at school. We exchanged a few pleasantries, I rolled him a ciggie and we parted ways. The thing is, as you may have guessed, I didn't know him from a bar of soap before that night. I used to see him and his mates around quite a bit after that and he always smiled and said hello.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I was a teenager, in Auckland during the early 1980's. The King cobras where the predominant youth gang, in our part of town, at that time, and they didn't like punk rockers. So me and my mates would wear our punk rock costumes and walk around at night. I was never seriously injured during the punk rock costume days, despite doing things like driving around town in the blue bambini, hurly abuse from the the sun roof turret, at anyone that looked likely to try running after us. One of my mates however, did get screwdriver stabbed in the leg.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Matthew Poole

    I don't know the numbers of deaths from pepper spray but with dogs not killing any = has to be better.
    Remeber the film of the cop pepper spraying the dude hand cuffed and lying down, hmm.

    My assumption was that the cops need more toys.
    It is probably easier for them to get toys than recruits at the moment = election year shopping I suppose.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Well, let's see if I can live up to that RB...

    If you'd like crime to drop by 30%, double the number of coppers available to chase violent criminals, cut NZ gangs off at the knees, dispose of 60% of the prison population and help people who struggle with addiction problems there's this bunch of radical raving pinko, umm, Chief Constables in Britain who have the answer.

    But I guess a rational response just doesn't do it for most people...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    there's this bunch of radical raving pinko, umm, Chief Constables in Britain who have the answer.

    Someone pass that Welsh copper a joint ....

    as for 'revenge in new Guinea' - well, the revenge reflex lies dormant until pinged by personal horror and loss. I'm a pacifist until I'm threatened, too. Most of us learn to evade or defuse confrontation somehow, if we're not up for a stoush.

    On a related note, the Musket Wars here of the 1820s-30s wrought carnage for Maori, something like 40,000 displaced, unknown killed. Unfortunate timing really - made the missionary message and the poison apple of british justice and protection offered seem a useful alternative for those tired of war. And New Zealand kept our men primed for war for most of the 20th century - two world wars & Vietnam before we twigged that we might have better things to do. The veneer of civilisation is pretty thin.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

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