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NRT: More police crime

Written By: - Date published: 2:57 pm, October 17th, 2013 - 25 comments
Categories: crime, police - Tags: ,

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn reports on a case that is symptomatic of just how out of control the police in NZ are getting. The response of Wellington’s Tactical Policing Unit was both completely disturbing in its use of violence to try to create the type of incident that they were expecting. The police lying, not only to the public, but also to themselves about the actions is even worse. If there are no prosecutions and stiff sentences for the officers involved, then it is time to start actively initiate a program of private prosecutions of individual police.

Back in 2009 Police were called to an “out of control” party in Wellington. When they got there, they found that, contrary to reports, there was no fighting in the street outside. The hosts told them there was no problem, and that they did not need assistance. The police did not believe them. So they broke into the house, smashing windows in the process, and beat those inside to get them to disperse – in the process breaking someone’s neck. In the aftermath, when people complained to them and the IPCA, they leaked information about them in an effort to discredit them. And now the Independent Police Conduct Authority has ruled that all of that was unlawful:

An Independent Police Conduct Authority report has found that Police acted contrary to law in entering a private residence on Homebush Road, Khandallah, Wellington in the early hours of 5 September 2009.

The Authority today released the results of its independent investigation into the actions of members of the Tactical Policing Unit who shut down the private party using unnecessary, excessive force in the process.

[…]

Independent Police Conduct Authority Chair Judge Sir David Carruthers said today although the Tactical Policing Unit was responding to a call from a partygoer concerned about the behaviour of gatecrashers, the decision to close the party down was contrary to law.

“The force used to remove partygoers from the house in an effort to shut down the party was also excessive and contrary to law.

“The action of a Tactical Policing Unit officer in striking one of the partygoers with a baton, using excessive force, was also contrary to law. Medical records show that this young man sustained a displaced fracture of the C7 spinous process, or a broken neck, as a result of the officer’s action,” Sir David said.

Miraculously, the police, who just last year had published a self-serving whitewash clearing all their officers of any wrongdoing, have now accepted the IPCA’s findings. Which raises an obvious question: will the officers involved face charges? Because looking at their description of events, there are prima facie cases for trespass, criminal damage, burglaryaggravated burglary (“burglary with a weapon”), assault, injuring with intent and wounding with intent. Not to mention misuse of official information.

The police must obey the law. If they don’t, they are nothing more than a gang with a fancy uniform (and that’s exactly how they have behaved in this incident). Sadly, the police don’t give us much cause for confidence here: the IPCA specifically finds they unjustly apply a different standard to investigating their own officers than to ordinary members of the public. But if the police won’t uphold the law, then the people will have to – through private prosecutions.

The IPCA is also recommending changes around how the police deal with parties. Good. The current situation – where the police apparently regard parties as riots in progress, demand that they be “registered” (implying that you need their permission to exercise your freedom of assembly in your own home), and shut them down on a whim – is a cause of public disorder, not a cure for it. The police need to change their approach. The question is whether they’ll learn their lesson, or continue with the same pig-headed approach which has caused these problems.

 

Updated: NRT has another post about the police response. 

A gap that needs to be filled

Earlier today the Independent Police Conduct Authority released a damning report about an incident in which police had unlawfully trespassed, broken into a house, and beaten people (breaking someone’s neck in the process) to unlawfully shut down a party. the police’s response? A giant “fuck you”:

Despite breaking the law by entering the house, Nicholls said none of the 11 officers involved had been, or would be, disciplined.

“Our belief is the police acted in good faith in terms of entering the property.”

So, despite several apparent crimes being committed – including aggravated burglary – the police won’t even discipline, let alone prosecute their own.

The Police refusing to hold their own to account is a constant problem. We need a solution. We need an NGO dedicated to mounting private prosecutions, to hold the police to account when they won’t do it themselves.

But its not just the police. We also need an NGO to enforce electoral law, because the Police have repeatedly shown that they are unwilling to do so. It should not have been left to Graham McCready to bring a case against John Banks. And cases should have been brought against both Labour and National in 2005 for overspending.

The fact that we now need a body like this is an indictment on our justice system. But its where we’re at. Who’s up for it?

Indeed. 

25 comments on “NRT: More police crime”

  1. McFlock 1

    I wonder if McCready wants to take on the cops? :)

    • lprent 1.1

      I’d be willing to donate towards the cause.

      Clearly the police are incompetent to deal with their own when they refuse to deal with officers capable of this kind of crap. The IPCA has no power to lay charges. The government’s legal offices can’t as far as I’m aware.

      It means that no-one is held accountable for either the police assault or the the subsequent attempt to cover up the seriousness of the assault and it’s consequences. Justice is not seen to be done. In fact it is trampled underfoot by those who are meant to uphold it.

      Who is left apart from the public prosecution of police?

      • Ennui 1.1.1

        It would make extremely good Labour policy to announce policies to strengthen public respect for the police, after all if we cant trust them who can we trust?

        The trick is to raise the bar with regard to the public’s expectations of the police, after all they are our heroes so there would be no problem with a revamped IPCA that can demonstrate, (independently of course) that the cops meet our high expectations. Of course when they don’t the newly announced teeth for the IPCA would get rid of “bad eggs”. Of course the Lor’in’orda bigots would object but would be easily silenced by “the law is the law and our Police heroes abide by it, cos they are the good guys”.

  2. richard 2

    This is disturbing:

    Despite breaking the law by entering the house, Nicholls said none of the 11 officers involved had been, or would be, disciplined.

    Either the police at the scene are blind and didn’t see one of their colleagues cracking someone on the back of the head with a baton or at least one of them did and lied along with the perpetrator.

    And then this:

    The authority had also investigated a complaint that unauthorised material was sent to a media outlet after the incident.

    The release had been made to discredit a complainant, but the administrator who leaked the information had left the police, Judge Carruthers said.

    So will this person be prosecuted?
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9294502/Police-used-excessive-force-report

    Edit: the post update happened while I was writing this.

  3. Red Rosa 3

    Deeply disturbing. NRT has earlier pointed to this ChCh story

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/9223382/Compo-for-horrific-police-beating

  4. tc 4

    Seems rickard/shipton could be the tip of an ugly iceberg everyone keeps sailing around. remember how high up rickard was.

    • greywarbler 4.1

      And what a bad look that was for the name Rickard. When I saw the Rickard name still involved with the police a short while ago, it brought very unpleasant memories. Eva Rickard was a Maori worker for return of land and gained great respect. Then that name was besmirched by muscle-boy, sports-jock, coupled with pack and power, bad behaviour.

  5. Treetop 5

    Just look at this link

    http://disidento.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/secret-inquiry/

    The letter dated 7 August 2013 from the Privacy Commissioner who agrees with the police is the reason an independent tribunal is required to get to the bottom of the ROT.

    http://obrien.wordpress.com/legal/privacy-commissioner/2/

    What next for O’Brien?

    Police do not up hold the law by breaking it.

  6. Peter 6

    There’s one other thing we need the NGO for too – environmental prosecutions, when central and local government won’t act against polluters.

  7. Anne 7

    Just left this in “The fish rots from the head” but is relevant (sort of) here as well:

    Another example of the police turning a blind eye to political skulduggery

  8. QoT 8

    Because acting in good faith and not intending to break the law are excuses that work so well when you’re not a cop. :roll:

  9. Tracey 9

    the police say they dont know who actually hit hi,. of course the commissioner called them all in and said

    if you dont tell me by 4pm which one of you did it, you are all suspended.

  10. Adele 10

    Kiaora koutou katoa

    I think today’s policing is reflective of rushed training and poor recruiting methods. The Police should strengthen their psychological profiling as it appears that they have well exceeded their quota of sociopaths.

    There has always been an element of brutality in the Police.

    Like moths to a flame, paedophiles to a school – sociopaths are attracted to occupations that allow them free reign on perpetrators – not victims. The law gives them the excuse, and when it doesn’t – simply pretend that it does, and say “whoops, a wee mistake,” never-mind.

    This disturbing element in the Police has always existed. Well, since colonisation. Before colonisation, Māori society was well regulated. The threat of being dismembered was incredibly motivational towards peace, love and harmony. Seriously, and actually, banishment from whānau and hapū was the greatest punishment tangata whenua could suffer – it was worse than being dead.

    Back to the Police.

    Bashing on kids is not a good look. Those in the Police who are not sociopaths should right the night otherwise you are guilty by omission. Eleven policemen participated in the raid and not one of them actually knew the law – so says the Big Commander. They acted in good faith.

    Faith above the law. Poor training, rushed recruiting and perhaps also befuddled leadership.

    • Treetop 10.1

      “Bashing on kids is not a good look.”

      Entering a property unlawfully and then swinging a batton in a narrow hallway, from the start errors were made which puts the reputation of all of the officers at the scene in the spotlight.

      It is my understanding that only four officers were interviewed.

      I would like to know why the four were chosen to be interviewed and why all of the officers at the scene were not interviewed?

      The situation is that four years down the track the man who had his neck fractured is still waiting for justice to be delivered and PNHQ are carrying on as if the aggravated assault did not occur or cause an injury.

      I also would like to know what involvement Marshall has had in this as the incident occurred under Broad?

      What really pisses me off is that the police (PNHQ) are deluded in thinking that the decision from the IPCA does not point the finger at them and that the police have failed to do their duty.

  11. Murray Olsen 11

    If someone comes up with an idea that’ll go somewhere, I’ll contribute.

  12. Sable 12

    There’s nothing independent about the police complaints authority and that is the crux of the problem. The good cops can not complain and the public have no voice so the bad apples stay in the barrel.

    The real question is why have we not got an independent authority like so many other countries? My view is if the police were reformed then the dirty political elements would have no one to do their bidding. The police might even be inclined to say “no” to actions like the Kim Dotcom affair.

    The problems with our police who used to do such a good job are symptomatic of a general failing of our political system and the pretty blatant corruption seeping into government.

    • tc 12.1

      Because they do such a great job it’s not needed (sarc) and anyway the police are doing just fine by the NACT standards.

      Same reason crusher doesn’t see the need for a media watchdog as they’re such bastions of good behaviour and intellect.

    • Murray Olsen 12.2

      Any cops who even look like they might do some whistle blowing at some stage are harassed out of the force. They take the same approach to this as the gangs.

    • Ugly Truth 12.3

      Public voice isn’t unattainable, and cops, as members of the public, can participate in this.

      To have real authority the right to act cannot be assumed.

      IMO identifying the criminals would be good first step.

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    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    3 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    3 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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