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Have the police been inciting?

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, December 21st, 2008 - 52 comments
Categories: activism, police - Tags: , , , ,

police_officer_cartmanThere is a slowly emerging twist in police spy scandal. The question of incitement and provocation from an agent of the police. Bearing in mind that it is an obvious escalation of paying people embedded deep in any activist organisation, it is something that an agent’s handlers should have been aware of and taken steps to prevent. However it appears that they may have been encouraging it.

Anthony Hubbard and Nicky Hager have a story “Activist considers court action against police informer” in the Sunday Star-Times.

Oosterman, pepper-sprayed by police during a 2005 anti-GE protest at the Forest Research Institute in Rotorua, was awarded $5000 damages after the judge decided the police had made unreasonable use of the pepper spray.

Oosterman said Gilchrist had also given exaggerated evidence and had provoked the security guards and police during the protest.

Gilchrist, who was the protest group’s liaison officer with the police even though he was working as a police informer at the time, had been “totally confrontational” during the protest. He was “pushing security guards around… he created a situation of tension” which in turn led to the pepper spraying.

When the case came to court

Oosterman said Gilchrist had agreed to appear as a witness for him in a case in July this year, but had turned up at court wearing a T-shirt with a gun on it.

The shirt had the words “This is my Glock, her name is Susan, there are many like her, but she is mine,” Oosterman told the Star-Times.

What the hell? Was he trying to deliberately piss off the judge? So not only was he ‘rarking’ up the protest to the point of confrontation, you’d have to ask if he was trying to pervert the course of justice. Since he also sent his affidavit to his police handlers, maybe he was also asked to try to destroy Oostermans case against the police. Perhaps commissioner Broad would care to comment on this?

Matt McCarten is also alleging incitement in the Herald On Sunday in “Spying on lawful organisations should set alarm bells ringing

Gilchrist started collecting information on our union three years ago. At that time we were running our SupersizeMyPay campaign, set up to abolish youth wages and raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour.

This is a pretty normal type of campaign for unions, especially in the groups that Unite represents.

Are our spies seriously suggesting minimum wage workers and school kids working in fast-food restaurants were part of a budding al Qaeda network? My staff recall that Gilchrist inveigled his way into the union by boasting to impressionable teenagers on our picket lines how radical he was and how they needed to take more direct action to win their claims.

This is what I’ve also heard from a number of activists that have worked with Rob. He was directly involved in escalating protests. For instance from the origional SST story

At protests, Gilchrist was often the one taunting police, says Mark Eden of Wellington Animal Rights Network, who regarded Gilchrist as a friend. ‘If it didn’t involve adrenalin and confrontation, he wasn’t interested,’ Eden told the Star-Times.

‘He was always interested in who was keen on illegal actions and would often make it known that he was keen to be involved in anything illegal or undercover. On a few occasions he would take people out for a drive and sit outside a factory farm or an animal laboratory and encourage them to talk about planning a break-in or other illegal activity.

‘He would be really pushy and persistent about planning illegal activities and then would suddenly lose interest, claiming it was too difficult or that he was busy. He was always keen on planning dodgy stuff, but on the occasions when we did break the law [for instance, an open rescue of battery hens] he would always have an excuse and pull out at the last minute.’

In hindsight Eden believes Gilchrist was inciting people to talk about illegal stuff and then ‘reporting it to police to make us sound dodgy’.

The question has to be asked; how far were his handlers in the police involved in promoting this type of incitement to breaking the law? Who exactly are the real ‘criminals’? Activists or police?

[update: the boys in blue have asked me to take down the police crest we had on the post. Good to see they’ve got the big stuff covered. SP]

52 comments on “Have the police been inciting? ”

  1. rave 1

    Agent provocateur is the proper name.

    The NZ left needs to grow up and leave nurseryland. The state represents the interests of the ruling class and will break any law to prevent any challenge to those interests.

  2. rave 2

    Meant to finish the above.
    …so the solution is not to retreat into secrecy of tiny paranoid grouplets because there will aways be Gilchrests infiltrating every small protest group. Gilchrest could operate like he did because of small-scale secret protests designed for the mass media, and not mass mobilisation.
    The opposite is what is needed. Open, democratic organisations, mass protests, mass pickets,etc so that the actions of agents provocateurs become obvious and easily dealt with by working class justice.

  3. Bill 3

    Rave.
    I reckon a lot of the reason Gilchrist operated the way he did was because people allowed and even encouraged him to.

    I recall being at a protest and all these young and not so young kids kept running to Rob asking what to do next; seeking permission and generally feeding ALL info through him. Any idea came up and you could guarantee that somebody would go off running to Rob. I remember observing all this and thinking how fucked it was and decided I’d never involve myself with the people/ group(s) present at that protest again.

    I voiced my take on the command and control nature of the protest afterwards; pointed out the dangers of such an approach and got blank “wha?” stares in response. What was especially fucked was that many of these kids proclaimed themselves as anarchists!. Okay, actions and words; fashion over substance etc etc

    So yes. Sections of NZ protesters have A LOT to learn, because whether they like or not, they acted as enablers for Gilchrist. Doesn’t matter whether the group is large or small, the trick is to disable all command and control structures/habits while still retaining a high degree of organisation and efficacy.

  4. rave 4

    Bill

    Yeah its a steep learning curve up against the crisis and the bosses offensive. This will produce mass mobilisations that are more difficult for AGs to operate in. Good to see that the Greek students and workers are doing a 68 and trying to mobilise mass occupations to build support between workers and students, including unemployed and homeless workers, rather than beat their heads against overwhelming set-piece state forces at G8.

  5. sweeetdisorder 5

    Instead on going for trial by media, why doesn’t Rees give the whole lot to the PCA. Also, as I posted on another blog, isn’t information received by illegal means inadmissible in law?

  6. John BT 6

    What planet are you guys on?

  7. higherstandard 7

    Tis a bit like some kind of parallel reality – to the barricades to the barricades !!

    Sorry the population can’t be fagged it’s almost Xmas and they’re all off on holiday.

  8. Anita 8

    sweeetdisorder,

    why doesn’t Rees give the whole lot to the PCA

    I believe the IPCA can only address complaints against individual officers. In this case the issue is the procedures and the framework they sit within not the officers themselves  so not IPCA mandate.

    The Ombudsmen are usually the right place for procedural issues, but they can’t deal with the Police (except for OIAs).

    There appears to be a hole here.

  9. Bill 9

    Rave.

    You might be interested in this http://uprisingradio.org/home/?p=5140 on the Greek uprising.

    Meanwhile, this ‘steep learning curve’ does my head in! It could well be the wrong curve leading to nowhere but a crash to earth. Stuff has been done before and done effectively. But there seems to be a problem in passing on the lessons learned from generation to generation. It take valuable time to reinvent the wheel. And stumbling through the same mistakes over and over is tedious.

    As an example, the ‘moth to a flame’ attraction of protesters and organisers of events/actions to top down organisational structures is draining. It is well known that such structures invite their own destruction at the hands of the state or it’s agents. It’s too easy. A ‘ruling body’ is a big, bloody obvious target.

    The state can easily ‘take out’ the leaders in a number of time honoured ways and leave the rest in disarray. The list is long and includes the likes of character assassination or accommodating and giving inconsequential ground to moderate elements within leadership thereby killing momentum or threats of expensive legal action etc.

    Since all the tactics involve having a readily identifiable target, I just can’t understand why groups/orgs persist in structuring themselves in a manner that has the obvious potential of handing their own heads to the state on a plate.

    The second obvious problem with these structures is that they demand conformity…a party line as it were…they demand that ‘permission’ be sought and ‘approval granted’ for any and all activities and expressions. Cue the infighting, the splits, the auto-destruct. Also easy for infiltrators to sow seeds of discontent ( something Gilchrist seems to have enjoyed).

    I don’t think the real issue is going to be mobilising people rather than how those people mobilise. Are we going to see the tired old, same old where some personalities get elevated on the back of public sentiment and become party (unwittingly or otherwise) to the breaking of the very thing that gave them prominence?

    Or are we going to see something which is structured to avoid all of the above? Something far more sustainable and difficult for the state ( or whatever) to counter?
    I’d like to think so, but my experience doesn’t fill me with optimism.

    HS Barricades? Far too defensive a posture….too negative in too many ways to bother thinking about.

  10. lprent 10

    sweeetd: As far as I’m aware there have been no legal proceedings yet initiated apart from what Oosterman is planning. The rest have been requests for information from the police guided by the  the material that Rochelle has been putting into the public domain.

    In the case of Oosterman, I suspect that the same will be the case. His lawyer will have knowldge to guide his discovery in that he now knows that Rob was a police agent and probably had an ulterior motive in his actions in court on a previous case.

    As far as I’m aware we don’t have any ‘tainted branch’ rules about evidence in NZ. In anycase the US courts only apply that to the state and its use of their powers in criminal offenses. I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t apply in a civil case.

    As to why the whole lot isn’t dumped to the IPCA – for what exactly?. As far as I can tell we don’t even know the police policies about this type of spying on activists, political parties, and unions. So a complaint to the IPCA would be hard to even make a case. As Anita says, individual officers probably acted completely in accordance with police policy for the spying. So the IPCA would stop at that point.

    The debate is over – Is this is police policy? Should it be police policy? And why in the hell were police doing this at all? That has to be done in public – especially if the police were running incitement actions. There are no other forums to do that for the police.

  11. Westminster 11

    It’s independent inquiry time. Mind you, having worked with the police previously, I have some doubts about all the necessary information coming out. Oddly for a law enforcement agency, NZ Police has a uniquely solipsistic view of complying with the law. For many in the Police, it’s a case of ends justifying virtually any means.

    Captcha: “Detective ruin”….I kid you not!

  12. Peter Burns 12

    High time for police to clean up their tainted image.
    Arrest that man. Merry Christmas Mr Bent Plod.

  13. Anita 13

    lprent,

    As far as I’m aware we don’t have any ‘tainted branch’ rules about evidence in NZ.

    I think that issue is currently causing headaches in the Oct 15 raids related cases.

    If the Police got evidence from executing a search warrant based on evidence they got via an interception warrant which was solely for evidence for a set of charges they can’t actually charge anyone with, which bits of evidence (if any) can they use?

  14. Chris G 14

    Well shit he did well for his $600 a week then. Did I mention what a prick the cops have been over this? Plus what was Gilchrist thinking? well I spose he didnt have to think looking at $600.

    Still no word from Rodney the Razor yet, press statement/speech must be in the mail. Keepin me up at night with all this delay Rodders.

    PS: All quiet on the Johnny Friendly front – NZ post must be up to their tricks with that mail, big time. Competition will solve that wont it?

  15. Neil 15

    Broad is clearly incompetent and should go. Spying on unions and political parties is clearly the realm of a totalitarian state.

    Just think for a minute though. All this was carried out under a Labour government. All these now totally outraged parties and individuals were the same ones eagerly reciting illegally taped private conversations at the Nats conference and illegally stolen emails from Don Brash.

    Strange to think that the National government is now the one these groups and individuals are turning to in their quest to restore liberty and political rights when that party has been the most adversely affected by illegal and immoral tactics.

  16. mike 16

    As I was reading this I noticed a noise out the house. It was unusual sort of flapping noise which I hadnt heard before, so I went to see what it was. As I was going out the door, the house was covered in a large shadow and I Looked up.

    In the sky abopve the house was a whole flight of pink pigs flying above the house. they all had cameras and they were taking photos of me. I thought this might be in contravention of the privacy act so I yelled out to them to stop. They obviously heard me ’cause they banked sharply and circled back over my house – and as they flew overhead they – in unison – shat all over me and the house !! What a fucking mess.

    Barstards.

    [lprent: So we can expect to see footage on youtube in the near future? I’ll even link to it just for the wide eyes, aghast dropped jaw, and the pig-shit splatter]

  17. PK 17

    a bit of a long bow – making Gilchrist’s actions those of the police – a more believable motive is that he was trying to ‘prove’ himself by over the top activities. Conspiracy theories are interesting but infrequently true.

    Stupid coppers mind you – looks like they spent thousands of dollars when Gilchrist was feeding them crap. Whilst it’s likely the odd individual activist would be involved in some illegal activities it’s very unlikely that they were of any terrorist type warranting this type of surveillance.

  18. lprent 18

    PK: If you met someone who was getting the majority of his income from weekly payments from an organization – why would you call it? A present?

    In actual fact, there is significant employment and civil law if nothing else, that would say that constitutes either an employee relationship or a agent or representative relationship. Maybe the IRD could clear this up – look at the tax code and the tax payments.

  19. Anita 19

    PK,

    a bit of a long bow – making Gilchrist’s actions those of the police – a more believable motive is that he was trying to ‘prove’ himself by over the top activities.

    Let’s imagine…

    Gilchrist contacts his handlers one day and tells them that in an attempt to prove himself he threw a brick at a little old lady yesterday but missed. What’re the Police gonna do? They might charge him, or they might just tell him not to be so f&^king stupid and to not do it again.

    What say he does it again  this time throwing stones at kiddies on their way to kindy? Maybe the Police will charge him, maybe they’ll terminate the relationship, maybe they’ll shout at him and tell him if he does it again they will charge him and there’ll be no more money.

    If Gilchrist did one (and only one) dopey thing the Police could reasonably say that it was outside their control but they dealt with it. If he did two they could say it’d taken them a couple of tries to get his behaviour under control and they regretted not succeeding earlier.

    But the number of completely inappropriate things Gilchrist did while they continued to pay him? They can’t say they didn’t know they either didn’t try to manage his behaviour, or they didn’t try hard enough, or they instigated it.

  20. mike 20

    Iprent – I didnt take my camera outside and when I got dung in the eye I really had to go and clean up – so unfortunately no video. God pig shit stinks.

    But I have considered posting my video of the squadron of flying elephants that I go about 3 years ago. They appeared in the sky at almost exactly the same time that Hager was on TV denying that he had stolen Don Brashes emails. They were towing one of those sky banners which said “If you believe this you’ll believe anything”. Im not sure what they were advertising, but they made a great video.

  21. RedLogix 21

    Mike,

    All these now totally outraged parties and individuals were the same ones eagerly reciting illegally taped private conversations at the Nats conference and illegally stolen emails from Don Brash.

    Consider the scope an ordinary citizen, compared with the resources and powers we entrust to the Police. One merely has the opportunity to persuade; the other to harrass, intimidate and interview, together with statutory powers to arrest, charge and prosecute.

    Spot the difference?

  22. Rex Widerstrom 22

    lprent, with all due respect, the answer to the question posed in the title of your post is: “Well, duhhhhhh”.

    Incitement to illegal acts – from trading drugs and pornography to generating violence at protests, perjury, suborning perjury, witness tampering, witness intimidation and a host of other techniques have long been amongst the tactics employed by the NZ Police to “get their man”.

    As has been said before, many times, they’re not much more than just another gang – with better uniforms, more weapons, vastly more money and equipment, and no need to worry about breaking the law.

    I’ve gradually reached the conclusion that they’re too far gone to change, so we must rely on the legal system to protect us from their worst excesses. The trouble is our politicians – from the left as well as the right – are more than happy to wallow in the “tough on lawnorder” cesspit, competing to see who can pass into law the bigger load of crap.

    Thus laws that have existed for hundreds of years to protect the people from the worst excesses of the Police are tossed on the scrapheap by politicians greedy for a vote.

    In many Australian states and in Britain, double jeopardy is just a memory. If they don’t get you the first time they can just keep on and on and on till you run out of money, strength or both, or a jury decides “well hell, this is the fourth trial… he must be guilty”.

    In NZ the kind of outrageous hearsay that Gilchrist would need to provide to sheet home any prosecution of his “targets” has been able to be admitted via a gaping loophole created by the Evidence Act 2006… courtesy, I might add, of a Labour government and its legally unqualified Attorney General. Not that I hold out any hope that National will amend it, of course. When it comes to entrenching their own power and that of the arms of state used to enforce it, politicians are all of one hue.

    [lprent: Yeah I know it, you know it, everyone who knows the history of the labour movement knows it all too well. That is why the unions are going ape about this. But it needs to be spelled out for people that don’t realize that there is a high risk of using infiltrators for incitement.
    I was not happy about that change to the Evidence Act. I think it is going to get interesting when ANY convictions from the 2007 ‘terror’ raids gets up to the supreme court. The idea of having witnesses giving evidence with no cross examination will stick in the craw of any lawyer or judge. ]

  23. PK 23

    lprent – you could say Gilchrist is an employee or you could say he is providing a service – arguable.

    my point is I belive it is stupidity rather than malevolent.

    I would rather they spent that amount of money in stopping P btw as I’m guessing would most people – I am not defending them I just think the article is seeing too much of a motive.

    The coppers need an independent review and supervisory body as we need them to be trusted and they keep screwing up.

    [lprent: Agreed. But when the unions get involved they will look at it in terms of employment and accountability. For me it is a question – depends on exactly how much the police were supporting him. That would be raised in any case related to this whole episode]

  24. ak 24

    Neil: Just think for a minute though. All this was carried out under a Labour government.

    Precisement, mon cher Neil: infiltration and spying on all these unions and leftist organisations hardly points to a secret Labour conspiracy, n’est pas?

    Just think for another minute though: which party would benefit most from an incited protest conflagration just prior to an election?
    Which well-heeled party was thwarted in using its gigantic war-chest in conventional ways by the EFA?
    And which party has somehow shown extraordinary success in getting the mainstream media to recite ad nauseam its inane mantra of “nanny-state-anti-smacking-corrupt-corrupt-digging dirt-democracy-under-threat etc etc” for the past year or two?
    Which leader went on the piss with Guyon Espiner and Duncan Garner?
    Whose motto is “whatever it takes’?
    How far-fetched is it to posit the existence of a coterie of senior Natcops sharing ideas and information with NACT operatives?

    Just musing, mind ye, but righties calling for an independent enquiry may live to regret it……

  25. Anita 25

    lprent,

    In actual fact, there is significant employment and civil law if nothing else, that would say that constitutes either an employee relationship or a agent or representative relationship.

    It would have to overturn this particularly dopey decision which said that TCIL did not breach the law when using a paid informant to spy on SHVC because the informant was an “informant” not an employee or contractor. Apparently “informant” is a special kind of relationship which is not governed by any of the usual rules.

    It would be great if someone would overrule it though 🙂

  26. rave 26

    Rex:

    I think it is utopian to expect laws that are ultimately to defend private property from being a defence of the individual unless that individual has property. Democracy is a fiction for keeping people deluded that we are all equal before the law. Its worth defending but only as means of empowering change and replacing it with real democracy based on common ownership, not as an end in itself.

    Bill:

    On planet Greece right now the wheel doesnt have to be reinvented. The problem is all those who put sticks between the spokes. For example students and workers occupations are like rolling out the wheels. Barricades are a means of defending an occupation; taking and defending territory from the employer or state. They can then go on the offensive in occupying and defending employers property and smashing the state.

    The sticks in the spokes are the problem. In 68 the students occupied and barricaded the universities. But when they tried to encourage workers occupations of factories they were stopped not by the employers but by the union officials. In Greece right now rank and file workers have barricaded themselves into the union headquarters which is to say “OK union officials, the workers are now in charge”. Wheels are rolled out, and one stick is broken. Other sticks, fascists, police, military and … agents provocateurs. .. yet to be broken.

  27. Ag 27

    I wonder why activists don’t wise up and cultivate their own spies within the police force. There are plenty of cops who are uneasy at what they are asked to do, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get leaks.

  28. Rex Widerstrom 28

    Ag: You clearly haven’t watched “Serpico” lately, have you? It was a true story, you know 8-\

  29. Peter Burns 29

    Corrupt cops don’t like anybody telling the truth about operational procedure. How could our police force stoop to such levels of depravity is beyond my comprehension. I guess this is what happens when the keystones are not accountable to anybody and they work the ” we lie in court to protect each other” principle, so hence the present problem with the lack of public confidence in a disgusting – dishonest police force. Howard Board should be in a prison cell with Rob and Clint. I hope my comments do not earn me a straight to jail card delivered by the SWAT Team? The perimeter fence is secure for now.

  30. lprent 30

    Anita: It would have to overturn this particularly dopey decision

    Man that is very dopey. If that carried through into employment or civil law…. That would leave open a ruddy great big hole in all requirements for employers having to check their employees skills. Just pay them for a task without carrying liability for their actions.

  31. Chris G 31

    I really like that idea of getting spies within the police. Tough though, cos you’d actually have to go out and be a cop.

  32. lprent 32

    CG: Most police are actually really good value. I’ve dealt with many over the years, especially when I was doing leg-work for my apartment block.

    But there are about 10k people employed by the police. The problem is that it only requires a few people doing questionable activities to bring the whole force into disrepute.

    Normally I’d give them far more latitude personally – I understand the consequences of not having an effective police force.

    However some of the stuff I’ve witnessed since 9/11 has been getting me pretty worried. I’m uninterested in having an occupation force enforcing the will of the frightened majority. I want a police force that upholds the legal system, and has enough sense to monitor but not disrupt groups advocating political or social change using legal harassment or incitement techniques. Even in the monitoring, they need to have more sense than monitor groups unless they have cause. Unions and political parties ??

    Right now the police actions seem to be directed to forcing those groups to go underground to reduce legal harassment. In other words some police are getting very selective about what parts of the law and the rights derived from those laws that they want to support.

    Like PK, I’d like to see some kind of overview body that can look at police policies. The IPCA is getting better at looking at individual police actions. The police policies appear to have the biggest problems.

  33. NickC 33

    And remember guys, this ALL happened under a Labour government, infact the police unit actually doing the spying was established when Phil Goff was Minister of Police 😉

  34. lprent 34

    NickC: Yes, but as has been repeatably pointed out, there is bugger all influence that the government of the day has on police operational policies.

    Read the Police Acts 1958/2008. There is a bloody good reason for the seperation. When things got too cozy between the police and the government – for instance with the personal relationship systems that Muldoon’s government set up. We then have real problems. It stifles required societal change by suppressing dissent at the political and therefore even the economic level. That just makes it harder later on.

    I’ve been in the Labour party for a long time, and the level of annoyance with the police actions has probably never been higher than it has been in the last few years. They keep screwing up because of internal culture and policy problems. Their pace of internal reformation to alleviate those issues is painfully slow.

    However the governments of whatever hue have relatively little influence (and I’d be the first to fight them getting much). This is largely a police problem, not a political problem. Labour has been getting it in the neck for stuff on its watch. It is now NACT’s watch, so they have to deal with what they can. At present they’re looking pretty poor at it, but they’ll probably be forced into improving as this stuff rolls on. Personally I’d prefer to have Annette King dealing with it. But thats life – we have Judith Collins so that is what we have to work with.

  35. Peter Burns 35

    At the risk of upsetting the apple cart I would humbly and respectfully suggest that the relationship Muldoon had with police was trivial compared to the hold Helen Clark had on them.Ouch.

    Must go, big stressful day in Court and judge always grumpy Monday mornings.

  36. mike 36

    Oh Iprent – now stop pushing the “dont blame me (or us)” line.

    Its just codswallop to say that the government cant interfere in the police. If they want to of course they can. Its simple politics to say “we cant interfere” because all that does is divert attention and blame away from ministers offices. Whose getting in the neck over this gilchrest thing ? – none other than Broad. It SHOULD be Annette King (I think – or was it another) and Cullen and Clark. Agreed Broad is a fool, but responsibility lies at the top.

    If we didnt have such stupid bloody employment laws the police would be much better. ie: if you tell lies or you steal or similar action – then you are out – no golden handshakes, no procedural appeals. If they didnt have to waste time on so much paper work theyd be on the streets twice as mush as they are. If they didnt pander to the PC brigade so much wed be better off – such things as automatically charging people for false complaints which they dont do at the moment – most domestics and gender trouble. But they spend inumberable hours on these timewasters. And Im convinced they are on the take from some big retailers where the police are effectively the security agents and the legal advisors for them – at the taxpayers expense.

    A government that really is in the business of leadership will tell the police their prioritories and will dismiss them for not fulfilling the job – after all its the government we vote for – not the bloody police. To say that within the labour party annoyance with the polioce is high is just stupid – the annoyance shouod be with the gutless leadership – and Im sure you know that.

  37. lprent 37

    Yes – a government can tell the police the governments priorities. However, if and how the police choose to implement those into policy is the choice of the police.

    The most a government can do is to allocate specific money for new or increased programmes and it can be checked that the money is going into those purposes.

    However that was how the SIG money was allocated in 2004. Some police managed to interpret the intent of looking for and protecting from terrorist groups as a license to spy and harass activist groups, unions and political parties.

    mike: I’m afraid that you are just addicted to wishful thinking.If you don’t know how parts of the state structures work, then go and do some research. For instance you might want to look at the Bazley recommendations.

  38. Anita 38

    mike,

    If we didnt have such stupid bloody employment laws the police would be much better. ie: if you tell lies or you steal or similar action – then you are out – no golden handshakes, no procedural appeals.

    Actually the Police aren’t covered by the normal employment laws. The recent Police Act Review was designed to address some of the problems with the laws that did cover police employment (and the consequent issues with disciplinary and dismissal processes). It resulted in the new Policing Act 2008.

    Whether the new act is good enough is yet to be seen, but at the time the Minister said that it was part of addressing the issues that lead to the (ridiculous) delays in ridding us of Clint Rickards. I should note that the Minister said it more politely than that 🙂

  39. Anita 39

    lprent,

    Yes – a government can tell the police the governments priorities. However, if and how the police choose to implement those into policy is the choice of the police.

    I beg to differ 🙂

    If a government agency were to say to the Minister “I know you said that was a priority, but we didn’t really think it was so we did this completely different thing with the money instead” there would be consequences. Depending on how different the different thing was there might be a breach of the Public Finance Act. Whether it was unlawful or not the CE and any relevant minions may well be out of their jobs very very quickly.

    Public agencies don’t get to pick and choose which policies to implement, nor do they get to implement them in ways that are nonsensical or contrary to the original intent.

  40. Neil 40

    Redlogix

    All these now totally outraged parties and individuals were the same ones eagerly reciting illegally taped private conversations at the Nats conference and illegally stolen emails from Don Brash.

    Consider the scope an ordinary citizen, compared with the resources and powers we entrust to the Police. One merely has the opportunity to persuade; the other to harrass, intimidate and interview, together with statutory powers to arrest, charge and prosecute.

    Spot the difference?

    Well, not really.

    It’s a bit like being slightly pregnant – either you are or you’re not.

  41. mike 41

    Iprent – have you ever heard that saying “go outside the box” ( I know – we all get tired of those hackneyed sayings – BUT the Govt and its agencies dont HAVE TO work in the same old ways that have resulted in the current hopeless police,.The Bazley report is interesting but it assumes that the Govt and the Police HAVE TO work under the same old guidelines that we know dont work too well.

    The only approach is to take a whole new approach. Yes, Govt cant be involved in details, but there needs to be an understanding – ” Heres the guidline Mr Commissioner and if you dont fulfill the objectives then youre otu – along with your admin team and there will be no ifs or buts”. Govt can change the law to remove any “essential service” from any and all employment laws, human rights legislations, etc.

    The deal would simply be ‘do the job and you stay and you get very well paid, but dont do it and you will have a new direction in life’

    Simple!

    I know all the libs and the PCers etc would be horrified, but as disrespect for police and authority rises there really isnt an alternate – unless you want slowl, but surely increasing social decay.

  42. lprent 42

    What makes you think that the police association will support this?

    The problem with the police is that they don’t always walk the the talk. They’re heading there slowly. But being delayed by a pile of misogynist fossils from the past and an archaic management structure.

    The police RELY on the trust of the public. We are one of the least policed countries in the world. It is pretty easy for them to lose that trust – just do what you’re suggesting.

    At present the police are part of society and get the trust and respect from it. The structure you’re describing is one that will tend to bring to the fore the absolute worst that the police can recruit. It’d be a case of the bad and most brutal driving out the good.

    Actually to me it sounds like you’re after Smiths Dream aka Sleeping Dogs. I’d join the resistance as soon as I saw a system like that set up – it is a military structure. If you ever did anything on military history and martial law systems, you’d know that it is very likely to have exactly the opposite effect to the one that you’re after.

    At least under the present system I’m interested in helping the police change themselves. Under your rule structure I’m more likely to regard them as an occupying force that needs a prune (along with whatever government set up the police state).

  43. lprent 43

    Oh that is sooooo cute. I guess that the police didn’t like the association. Must be a bit sensitive.

  44. Geoff 44

    It’s a bit worrying that Labour had its eye off the ball to this extent over the anti-terrorism laws it passed.  The problems that have emerged with the Police, with the Rob Gilchrist fiasco, are problems that were warned about by opponents of the anti-terrorism laws at the time.  It’s regrettable that those warnings were clearly ignored and we now reap the consequences.

  45. RedLogix 45

    Geoff is perfectly correct. As a confirmed 911 sceptic I was totally unconvinced about this unnecessary aggragation to Police powers when they were passed.

    The effect of the various Patriot Acts and Dept of Homeland Security in the USA has been madly unproductive, with 100’s of thousands of ordinary Americans languishing on ‘no-fly’ lists, their tourism industry hammered because most sane people will fly the wrong way around the world to avoid a US transit lounge, much less visit the place, and disturbing evidence of American law enforcement agencies increasingly using SWOT teams and Stazi tactics in wholly inappropriate situations.

    I wonder if some of the posters here, better connected to Labour than I, could confirm my suspicion that these anti-terrorism laws were passed in NZ, mainly because the Americans pretty much insisted that we had to in order to remain on their list of respectable, ‘friendly’ allies?

  46. Lew 46

    RL: confirm my suspicion that these anti-terrorism laws were passed in NZ, mainly because the Americans pretty much insisted that we had to in order to remain on their list of respectable, ‘friendly’ allies?

    The UN, not the US. The Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 was passed to give effect to the UN Anti-Terrorism Resolution, Bombing Convention and Financing Convention.

    http://gpacts.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/public/text/2002/se/034se3.html

    L

  47. Rex Widerstrom 47

    We’re passing laws at the direct behest of the UN?

    ‘scuse me, I’m off to corner the market in tinfoil 😀

  48. lprent 48

    Lew: That was my understanding as well. There were a slew of various conventions that we’d signed up for, and we needed to pass legislation to support them.

  49. Lew 49

    Rex: No, because we willingly signed our name to those resolutions and conventions, and needed to give them the weight of NZ law. And other measures, as Lynn says, but the TSA only ticks those three boxes.

    Implementation is another matter – UN resolutions are fairly broad in scope, and there are plenty of different ways to tick the boxes. I’m not too happy with the TSA, but it could have been much worse.

    L

  50. Anita 50

    I thought that only part of the Terrorism Suppression Act was needed to comply with that UN resolution. A whole truckload of other bits were squished in for “other purposes”.

  51. Lew 51

    Anita: Yeah, that’s part of what I mean by implementation being another matter.

    L

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