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BLiP View: Crusher missing in action

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, February 23rd, 2010 - 29 comments
Categories: john key, law and "order", police - Tags: ,

Over the last 12 months we’ve seen Chopper Tolley, Basher Bennett, and Pansy Wong all exposed as incompetents. As Ministers, these Nats sit atop portfolios in a manner rather akin to sitting atop a portaloo. Yet, there’s another Minister who needs to be brought into focus Crusher Collins.

It seems now that ‘bash-a-cop’ is becoming a bit of a weekend sport. The reason for this, we are told, is that police no longer have the respect of the community they claim to serve and protect. Since Crusher took on the role as Minster for Police, lets have a wee look at what’s been happening with the police.

  1. 05/12/08
    Wellington police officer Jason Manu Casson is discharged without conviction for stealing $90.
  2. 16/12/08
    tab;Palmerston North police officer Timothy Hesketh, 27, who lied during investigations and showed no remorse was found guilty of breaking a prisoner’s neck yet escapes a jail sentence.
  3. 30/03/09
    Nelson police officer Anthony Dale Bridgman is convicted of two counts of dangerous driving after he pulled out in front of two motorcyclists, seriously injuring both.
  4. 19/05/09
    Head of the Police Prosecution Service Superintendent Graham Thomas steps down after it is revealed that he refused to undergo a breath test
  5. 25/07/09
    Northland police run down two pedestrians, killing one and injuring another.
  6. 05/08/09
    Hamilton police tell a disabled man they are too busy to investigate the alleged theft of $1600.
  7. 07/09/09
    Senior Instructor at the Porirua Police College, Detective Sergeant John Gualter, is convicted for drunk driving after being found to have an alcohol reading at more than twice the legal limit.
  8. 09/09/09
    A Wellington man has his neck broken by a police baton while a party is being shut down.
  9. 19/09/09
    Auckland police officer Constable Matt Hooper is charged with perverting the course of justice after attempting to make use of a legal loop hole to avoid drunk driving charges.
  10. 09/10/09
    Dunedin police fail to follow procedure and a prisoner is found dead in the cells when they finally get around to checking.
  11. 09/10/09
    Nelson police officer Senior Constable Garry Dunn is sent to trial for assault after a two day depositions hearing was told he rammed a cyclist with his car and then pepper sprayed the man for not wearing a safety helmet.
  12. 09/11/09
    Figures released under the Official Information Act show that half of all police officers charged with drunk driving are convicted.
  13. 16/11/09
    Auckland police officers Patrick Garty, 32, and Wiremu Bowers-Rakatau, 21, charged with assault.
  14. 22/11/09
    Masterton detective Sue Mackle goes public on the fact that police are failing to investigate hundreds of sexual abuse complaints in favour of focussing on property crimes because doing so makes the statistics look better.
  15. 17/12/09
    Christchurch police officer Nathan Thorose Connolly is sent to jail for inducing sexual connection from the sex worker by means of a threat.
  16. 22/01/10
    Rotorua District Court convicts an ex police officer for possession of child porn.
  17. 23/01/10
    Two Papakura detectives charged with indecent exposure and offensive behaviour after a drunken escapade.
  18. 14/02/10
    Auckland High Court takes two minutes to throw out a murder charge brought by police who had used huge amounts of resources and dodgy investigation techniques to manufacture the arrest of an innocent man.
  19. 16/02/10
    Christchurch police are slammed in a report for failing to adhere to policy during a chase which left an innocent bystander in hospital with horrific head injuries.

Every few weeks yet more news of the police and their antics.

Obviously, not all of the incidents have occurred during Crusher’s tenure and not all of them are specifically her fault. There are other incidents which indicate the attitude of the police to their community, ranging from high speed pursuits at the weekend and their behaviour during recent protests being of relevance. But, given this litany of fuck ups, isn’t it just a wee bit possible that the police have something to do with the lack of respect they receive from the community? Are the police actually under control? What about the stress of their job, petty government policies, the economic environment, being trained by drunks, and the culture of the organisation itself? When does one begin to look at the Minister and ask what is going on?

Are the media to blame for bringing all this to our attention, as the Police Association would have us believe? And, speaking of the media, where are the banner headlines announcing the end of society as we know it as per the sensationalist nonsense when Labour was in power? Questions, questions, questions.

And what has Collins got to say about things? Well, as of this afternoon absolutely nothing That’s right: nada, zip, zero. Missing in action.

Instead, its that nice Mr Key who’s come storming down from on high to grab the headlines and paint his image as crusader for the good cause – and what’s his solution to the situation yep, you guessed it: harsher sentences. No policies for improving the police image, no comment on the real causes, no insight into the implications for society when its guardians are subject to such violent scorn. Just more media mendacity driven by a relentless desire to say something, anything, to seize the headlines and manufacture yet more ‘oohs and aahs’ from his treasured focus groups. So much for change.

Are we lovin’ it yet?

BLiP

lprent: We have commented previously on assaults on police in this post from 2008. I suspect that at best the graph will show another minor lifting per sworn police officer in 2009. Of course if the number of police are increased then you get a rise in absolute numbers, which is what is being spun in the MSM at present.

You have to wonder who is puffing figures to make a do-nothing government have a meaningless PR opportunity. I’d like to see what the rate is for traffic injuries per sworn officer – probably as at least as dangerous as assaults.

29 comments on “BLiP View: Crusher missing in action”

  1. lprent 1

    This list isn’t comprehensive (I suspect BLiP was looking for incidents with links). I can think of a few others offhand. However it is rather compelling…

    Heard a civil liberties organisation on the radio this morning making a similar comment.

  2. Clarke 2

    Lovely piece of research, BLiP.

    The idea that harsher penalties should apply for assaulting police rather than any other common-or-garden citizen seems particularly bizarre. However I think Crusher needs to take it to the next level, and combine her law and order policy with Bill English’s tax cuts.

    The MSM were pushing the line on TV last night that police officers are valuable members of society, so penalties should reflect this. As we know from practically all areas of NACT policy, your value to society is decided solely by your net wealth and/or income, so I think there should be a sliding scale of penalties based on fiscal health.

    Basically, the wealthier the person you hit, the more time you spend in jail.

    This means that the activists who assaulted John Key at Waitangi last year would go down for a couple of centuries, while taking a swipe at a bloke with an average income, a house in the suburbs and a Commodore on HP would only get you a couple of years.

    Best of all, it would mean that there would be no jail time at all for hitting people with no assets – “beneficiary bashing” could take on a whole new meaning.

    Now that’s the kind of innovative hard-right thinking we should be expecting from Crusher Collins! I’m looking forward to her press release.

  3. gitmo 3

    Another dig at the police disguised as a political post, are the police fair game according to BLIMP ?

    You am retard also.

    • lprent 3.1

      Actually we’re happy to post straight digs at the police. In fact I’ve written them.

      The problem with the police force is that they run under a quite archaic management structure. They simply don’t have channels to get feedback about their perceived performance.

      After all their only oversight is a rather compliant police minister who seems to spend more time looking at how to put pathetic laws in place, and the IPCA which is so completely toothless that most activists only put complaints into them to find out how long it is before they get a whitewash. Sure the police get a lot of people contact. However it is largely with perps or victims – hardly likely to give them good feedback.

      The MSM seldom bother to get at the meat of the polices internal structural and cultural issues. Blogs like this are useful to the police (although they may not feel so) because they get some pretty straight feedback from a wider perspective.

      Slavishly drooling over the police in the way that you seem to want to do (and which seems to be Bretts standard response) simply isn’t useful.

  4. Janice 4

    The police started losing the respect and support of the community in 1981 when they allowed Muldoon to use them against citizens that didn’t agree with him over continuing the Springbok tour.
    A lot of middle class people came face to face with heavy policing for the first time in their lives and stopped teaching their children that the police were there to help them, as they were so appalled by the tactics used to suppress protest. This police support contributed to his re-election and all the problems of his drunken, bullying mismanagement along with it. BTW our current PM can\\\\\\’t remember which side he was on, he was just learning to be relaxed about things perhaps.

    • Clarke 4.1

      I have this theory that Steven Joyce is the reincarnation of Rob Muldoon.

      Think about it – back room deals, expanding power base, expanding waistline, unbridled ego, ability to spend money like water, contempt for the electorate …. it’s spooky.

  5. the sprout 5

    Well clearly then they all need to be given guns.
    That should fix their bad behaviour and alienation from the public.

  6. SHG 6

    Is this post about the competence of Government ministers, or is it a rant about the police? It looked like one and then turned into another.

    • Clarke 6.1

      It was just another post debunking Key’s media hysteria with actual facts.

    • lprent 6.2

      It is also a common ‘flaw’ in posts by new authors and guest posters. I’m noted for it myself…

      You learn to make the post more coherent over time. The comments section encourages it..

  7. prism 7

    The goad of contracts with specific targets to meet is I believe used on the police by government. This would skew their attention as in educational National Standards on teachers. I have heard that it is more important to do the transport work because of meeting arbitrarily set targets, than the other policing and that they put more resources into this area. While they are focussed on meeting policy-set road safety targets, the response to unpredictable crime where they have the role of helping and serving the public can easily be pushed aside in favour of pro-active, positive action against a known area of law breaking, the roads.

    Greg O’Connor who seems to be a mouthpiece is always full of excuses and whitewash and the police appear to be smug as to their own performance, and in a huddle in defence mode – us the pure against the unreasonable public who don’t appreciate our thankless role. It is a difficult job which they make more so by their often hostile approach, but also by the long hours of alcohol sales with over-consumption by louts and loutees out for the purpose of getting pissed, blunting any self-discipline and standards of behaviour they may have acquired. It is no good being polite, pleasant and firm with such people, policing here has to be more careful and intense. They have to be controlled because they have lost self-control. But this sort of policing I think sets a standard for their work at other times. I have respect for the police, but I am wary of them too. Great work is done by community constables usually, and I have helped in a small way to advance the work of one innovative, active local one.

    Their virtual entrapment policies of regularly setting up stop and test posts with search possible also, do not endear them to the public. This sort of policy may be convenient for them – to be seen fighting crime and “making the roads safer”. But I don’t like what I think of as an emergency measure being used in a routine way with police demanding my details as I drive around at a reasonably early time of night. I find them menacing and overbearing not reassuring. If it was after 2am, when there are more loose cannons around it would be more reasonable.

  8. Neil 8

    it’s funny how the extremes of the political spectrum both look at the sasme issue but ever only see themselves.

    Lefties – “given this litany of fuck ups, isn’t it just a wee bit possible that the police have something to do with the lack of respect they receive from the community?”

    Righties – http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1002/S00243.htm

    such little insular worlds

    • BLiP 8.1

      You’re quoting out of context – did you miss the next bit:

      Are the police actually under control? What about the stress of their job, petty government policies, the economic environment, being trained by drunks, and the culture of the organisation itself? When does one begin to look at the Minister and ask what is going on?

  9. Mach1 9

    You’ve left out a couple of police prosecutors too, wife beater Adrian Hilterman, Capill, of course, and the three thugs who escaped conviction
    No mention of the number of deaths in police cells.

  10. dewithiel 10

    @ Clarke

    I wondered how long it would be before people started realising the uncanny similarity between His Roadworthiness the Hon Steven Joyce and the late unlamented Rt Hon Sir Piggy Muldoon. And it’s not just ‘back room deals, expanding power base, expanding waistline, unbridled ego, ability to spend money like water, contempt for the electorate’ it’s also a keenly myopic mindset of a provincial businessman, a strident contempt of intellectual activity and a cavalier disregard of facts not to mention being somewhat ‘economic with the actualité’ when it suits.

  11. Lew 11

    I see BLiP View becoming a regular feature.

    L

  12. tc 12

    This lot have perfected 21st century muldoonism……with the smiley PR fixated Johnny clown out front and his list of mates to speak on issues such as Weldon on unemployment…..oh dear.

    Joyce is a worry and watch that broadband space to see how much public dosh telecom get which should be zero in a level playing field world (as the dominant incumbent) however it’s unlikely the way Joyce operates…….nor are we likely to see any competition watchdogs bringing our mobile costs into the realm of competitive pricing.

    IF big business THEN ignore ELSE bash/discredit/undermine/legislate/threaten….Sir Rob would be proud.

  13. BLiP 13

    In an internal email in December, referring to a meeting with the airline 18 months earlier, the head of Waitemata road policing, Superintendent John Kelly, dubbed the behaviour “an apparent drink-drive problem” within Air NZ.

    Heh!! At least Kelly knows one when he sees one.

    • pollywog 13.1

      Coincidence that a story targetting drink/drive culture amongst middle class workers in a high profile corporation gets released days after police are shown to be one sided in their treatment of drink/drive culture among the underclass ?.. i think not

      The story, ‘according to a TV 3 investigation’, seems like it’s been sat on for a rainy day in case just such events transpire and was coming to the end of it’s use by date. It reads…”oh goody, the po-po are not just pulling over the poor…let’s all rejoice for justice is seen to be done”

      Whats the next story likely to be ?…How about, high profile fraudster gets harsh sentence by being publically slapped with wet bus ticket as opposed to traditionally slapped with wet bus ticket away from MSM spotlight ?

      yeah , that’ll learn em. So harsher penalties for rich pricks as well ?…doubt it.

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