Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Policeman at the Dinner Table

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  • Che Tibby,

    You could also surmise along these lines with respect to the 1970s crime wave: the baby-boomer cohort reached crime-committing age.

    would be interesting to see what proportion of the reported crimes were drug-related.

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

  • Stephen,

    Ta all. *pondering*

    Auckland • Since Apr 2008 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I'm far from convinced, not least because last time National promised to do something like increasing police numbers we ended up losing dedicated traffic cops.

    National signed off on this, but it wasn't just National's idea. It came from within the police, as follows the international trend of having traffic policed by the same people that police other infringements and crimes in society. NZ was really out of whack with international best-practice.

    The claim that losing dedicated traffic cops has affected NZ's policing of traffic adversely is weak. You could equally argue that taking police of criminal investigative duties and putting them on street beats (something a lot of crime nuts would be in favour of) reduces dedicated criminal investigation, in favour of general policing. It's a "so what?" point - it's not dedicated officers that matter, it's the number of people doing the work and the amount of time that they put into it that matters.

    With the move from the old traffic service to having a merger, the number of officers enforcing traffic offenses quadrupled. I believe the actual person hours also increased quite substantially as well.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Basically I couldn't resolve the outright lies presented as news with my understanding of the facts.

    You may recall me trying vainly to point out during the allegedly out-of-control wave of murders in South Auckland this year that the murder rate in Manukau police district had actually plummeted in the last full year, and was a fraction of that for Wellington, the 2007 murder capital of New Zealand.

    And before that there was the "wave" of murders in January that were pretty much in line with normal summer trends. Poor old Annette King was mocked for pointing out that we kill each other in the hot sun, but she was actually right.

    Sigh ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Poor old Annette King was mocked for pointing out that we kill each other in the hot sun, but she was actually right.

    I thought most of the mocking was around the full moon argument...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    And before that there was the "wave" of murders in January that were pretty much in line with normal summer trends

    <puts on work hat> fatalities of all kinds spike during the summer months.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    National signed off on this, but it wasn't just National's idea. It came from within the police, as follows the international trend of having traffic policed by the same people that police other infringements and crimes in society. NZ was really out of whack with international best-practice.

    And I think it would be fair comment to say that some of the most vocal opponents were police officers who thought (to be quite blunt about it) that traffic enforcement was beneath them. I don't about anyone else, but I don't really think that sworn police officers get to pick and choose their duties. And their union advocates really need to bring a bit more to policy debate than snobbery.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, my comment was slightly tongue-in-cheek, but a number of the people I know who like John Key insist that crime is totally out of control regardless of the evidence.

    Matthew: There's a lot of bullshit that get talked about crime -- and perverted statistical molestation -- all over. And perhaos we could all be a little less condescending to the stupid fascist wankers who (quite understandably) look at the canonisation of Austin Hemmings and feel a quite understandable revulsion. In a funny way, it reminds me of the death of Folole Muliaga -- a hell of a lot of hot air from all directions, but the coroner's report revealed a messier reality involving human beings. Shame that got lost, isn't it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    You could equally argue that taking police of criminal investigative duties and putting them on street beats (something a lot of crime nuts would be in favour of) reduces dedicated criminal investigation, in favour of general policing.

    Only if you actually take CIB staff and stick them back on general duties. If you take GD staff out of cars and put them back on foot, the increased visibility has an effect on crime. Auckland City noticed this when foot patrols were brought back in the CBD at night, and when Newmarket got back NMB (Newmarket beat patrol) as well as the vehicle-based patrols. Plods on foot are seen, and can readily interact with people passing by. Vehicles are impersonal, reduce visibility, and lower interaction. There's a place for both forms of patrolling, it's not an either/or equation.

    I'm also not so sure that crime nuts would agree that taking CIB off investigation would be a good thing. Possibly the thoroughly stupid would think so, but anyone with half a brain and an ounce of reasoning ability would realise that unless you catch people in the act (and even if there was a police car on every street there would still be crimes that went undiscovered until the offenders were long gone) you need someone to do the work in tracking them down.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    You could also surmise along these lines with respect to the 1970s crime wave: the baby-boomer cohort reached crime-committing age.

    The 'Freakanomics' guy has already surmised at some length along these lines.

    Links for those interested:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legalized_abortion_and_crime_effect

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freakonomics

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    There's a lot of bullshit that get talked about crime -- and perverted statistical molestation -- all over

    For example, Jonathan Coleman telling us about all that rising crime & violence in his email newsletter from last week.

    I signed up to the thing to see what he had to say, got nothing for ages and then he invited me along to the movies. A vehicle for informing folks about policy details it ain't...

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I signed up to the thing to see what he had to say, got nothing for ages and then he invited me along to the movies

    A suitably violent one?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    You may recall me trying vainly to point out during the allegedly out-of-control wave of murders in South Auckland this year

    I do indeed - in fact I rely on PA (and the system) not only to expand my understanding of what is going on, but also to gently research policy history

    I was away from NZ for about 18 years when lots of interesting things happened, and I've found the best way to quickly understand their context is to monitor / prompt a discussion here. I soon get a grasp of the crux of the matter :)

    I guess, like a la Che, that means PA participants may well be influencing policy to a greater extent than they expect ?

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Ahh, Leighton Smith listeners:
    I had occasion to overhear a conversation at Bunnings yesterday;
    "Oh look, they've got those horrid twirly bulbs" she said pointing at a display of energy saving fluorescent lights
    "Oh, I don't like them, they make your eyes go blind"
    apparently there are other parts of the anatomy of the human body that can go blind
    'I'm not having them in my house" she told her apparent husband. As he surveyed the roof space above him hoping for some divine intervention he mumbled "yes dear"
    "They're full of mercury you know and when you break them you have to take them to a special dump" she said, proud of her empirical knowledge.
    "That's not right dear" the husband ventured.
    "What do you know? you never listen to Leighton Smith, you never listen to the radio"
    "No dear, I don't"
    Ahh. Thank you Bunnings, you helped me see the light.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    People want to believe that crime is on the rise

    There was some research recently indicating people who were more easily alarmed by various shocking pictures were mor elikely to vote republican.

    The researcher considered it might help people recognise that sincere people can differ.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I wonder if you've embarrassed him with this.

    Haven't had a look, but in my experience he's happy to be argued with viguorously. Another point in his favour.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    "They're full of mercury you know and when you break them you have to take them to a special dump" she said, proud of her empirical knowledge.

    for the record i heard they contain less mercury than a tube of toothpaste. and certainly less than a amalgam filling.

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

  • Steve Barnes,

    for the record i heard they contain less mercury than a tube of toothpaste. and certainly less than a amalgam filling.

    Betcha didn't hear that on 1ZB or 3 News or in te Herold (sic) or te Listener or maybe you did but it was vewy vewy quiet.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Cresswell has responded.

    Fortunately for me, the knives in this case are just metaphorical. I say that because five Aucklanders and their families and friends are less fortunate than I -- five people including Austin Hemmings have died from real knife attacks in Auckland city since mid-July -- not to mention Darnell Leslie, stabbed to death in Invercargill on Saturday. Darnell Leslie was the fifty-first New Zealander to die at the hand of another New Zealander since the start of this year.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Cresswell has responded.

    I stopped reading when he kept bringing up the government forcing him to pay for no-hopers to breed.

    As far as I got, he never actually engaged Russell's criticism about the knife attacks being domestic incidents, but just brought out loopy talking points.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Fortunately for me, the knives in this case are just metaphorical. I say that because five Aucklanders and their families and friends are less fortunate than I -- five people including Austin Hemmings have died from real knife attacks in Auckland city since mid-July

    Let us turn to Britain for a sensible solution to knife crime:

    Accident and emergency doctors today call for the banning of long, sharp kitchen knives, arguing they account for at least half of all stabbings...

    Knives "of less than 5cm [2ins] in length" or with blunt, round ends would meet culinary needs and be far less likely to result in fatalities.

    This actually generated a visceral 'from my cold dead hand' response in me. But it makes a feck of a lot more sense than 'let's starve other people's children'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Thinking about it probably half of my kitchen accidents involving knives have involved stabbings (or dropping) rather than slicings, maybe that would make sense,whether one passes a law or not - why do kitchen knives need points? after all I have forks for when I need to stab things

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Now I'm imagining a post-ban surge in frenzied fork attacks..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Fortunately for me, the knives in this case are just metaphorical. I say that because five Aucklanders and their families and friends are less fortunate than I -- five people including Austin Hemmings have died from real knife attacks in Auckland city since mid-July.

    Was he trying to miss the point there?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cresswell,

    As far as I got, he never actually engaged Russell's criticism about the knife attacks being domestic incidents, but just brought out loopy talking points.

    I guess one man's loopy talking points are another man's cogent arguments, eh, Kyle?

    No, I never specifically engaged Russell's criticism about the knife attacks being domestic incidents because unlike Russell's myopic criticism, which missed altogether the wider point I was making, those domestic attacks weren't all that I was focused on in the original post.

    I chose not to continue addressing the wider point.

    I invite you to lift your eyes and focus on the fifty-one New Zealanders who've been murdered this year -- not all of them family members who hadn't seen Russell's TV ads -- and to reflect that it's high time there was a decent response to this number of murders from the agency whose sole moral justification is the protection of people's lives and liberties.

    If this murder won't do it, what will?

    And by the way, by "a decent response" I do not mean knee jerk responses like banning kitchen knives.

    And neither do do I mean hand-waving dismissals that suggest doing anything is too difficult, so instead we should just do nothing.

    That's just not good enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

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