web analytics

police and african youth

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, March 7th, 2016 - 19 comments
Categories: police, racism, uncategorized - Tags:

Having been away for the weekend, I hadn’t had time to write about this piece of research by Camille Nakhid, showing that the police are using “derogatory insults or comments, dismissive behaviour and even excessive force by the police”.

The police immediately went into defensive mode, attacking the research methodology and denying what they termed “unsbustantiated allegations”.

I find myself in a difficult place around this whole issue.  On the one hand, the NZ Police have been the only government department to take on board the Ethnic Perspectives in Policy document released in 2003.  In December 2004, the Police published their strategy for Working Together with Ethnic Communities.  And they began to implement it.  They recruited ethnic liaison officers, they have continual recruitment drives in ethnic communities, they have introduced diversity training for new recruits. They have set up ethnic advisory panels.   The strategy has been updated since 2004.

We’ve seen the first Muslim woman police officer recruited (who I’ve met, and she’s wonderful), Sikh police officers wearing turbans, and increases in diversity overall.  I’ve know a couple of the ethnic liaison officers well, they’re active in ethnic communities and doing really good work in their roles.  In every way, they are moving in the right direction, they are doing all the right things.

And yet.  We have these stories.  We have the admission in November last year about a bias against Maori.  We know of the issues around women.  Given that these acknowledged areas of bias, it is not unlikely that there is bias against young African men as well, so I’m certainly not prepared to write off Ms Nakhid’s findings.

And if there is bias, then what of all the good work being done above?  Does this mean it’s all a waste of time?

I’d say not, I’d say that the changes NZ Police have been working will take a lot longer to bed in.  I’d say that all those officers appointed before the strategy has been put in place, and many of those will be at higher levels and will have greater influence on the culture, may not have been much affected by the changes.  The greater diversity in recruits won’t have an effect until these young officers have higher positions in the organisation.  I also suspect that a lot of work the Ethnic Liaison Officers do is somewhat isolated from the rest of the force.

In the meantime, that there needs to be a lot more research, and not just targeted towards African communities but broadened to other communities.  Instances of wrong-doing need to be dealt with seriously and effectively.  And they definitely need to keep on with the ethnic strategy.

19 comments on “police and african youth”

  1. Gabby 1

    Allegedly.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Yep, that’s what it says in the article.

      • stargazer 1.1.1

        yes it does. and yet, funnily enough, media do not use that word when reporting on other social research that involves people describing their experiences. there’s another whole post in my head about the way the media has reported this issue, but i didn’t want to go into that in this discussion.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          Reflexively clutching at any straw of doubt, rather than approaching the issue like adults.

  2. pat 2

    I wonder…my teenage son and a few of his mates were going to drive into town a couple of Saturdays (night) ago to see movie…5 of them in one car..he has a restricted license…I pointed out that he was almost certain to be puled up and would be fined and it would be an inconvenient and expensive night out , he said why and I explained that there is no more obvious group for the police to take an interest in than a car load of male youths on a Saturday night….whether they were doing anything suspicious or not….they changed their arrangements.

    Rightly or wrongly the Police have always taken a disproportionate interest in the activities of groups of young males for the obvious reason this is the group that commits most crime…and they are not often very courteous in their interaction as most of us will recall from our own youth.

    The old approach of community policing where the officers actually know the residents of a particular area is IMO the only way to avoid this form of profiling and the flow on impacts, and I won’t hold my breath that the funding for such an intimate level of policing will occur anytime soon

    As to individual officers prejudices and demeanor, that is something that needs to monitored and corrected or removed by their fellow officers and superiors for it only makes everyones job more difficult when left unresolved

    • stargazer 2.1

      i totally agree with your comments here about community policing – an area of policing which has been reduced considerably in recent years.

      re your comment about police taking interest in the activities of young men, there are a few issues in there. the african youth are getting racist language as well as being stopped for doing nothing much. then, i think we really need to see some research into how this plays out across ethnic groups – maori, pasifica, other ethnic minorities & europeans.

      the other thing that comes to mind is that this profiling feels pretty much (on a smaller scale) what it’s like for people of colour in shops, being followed more closely.

      • pat 2.1.1

        agreed the interaction would appear more likely occur with certain groups but as you point out there appears to be significant effort being made to remove the systemic causes.
        There is no excuse for prejudice, and it would be naive to think that all Police are paragons of virtue in that regard, if the systems in place are designed to exclude this then it must become an increasingly rare occurrence…..as to the specific events referred to in the media it would be a good opportunity for all parties involved to communicate with each other.

  3. shorts 3

    Why the use of African? They mean black (and shades of brown) don’t they – cause I’m sure all those white south africans who moved here have no issues with the NZ Police

    • North 3.1

      Um no. Become sworn officers sometimes. It’s not pretty. Like the pile of white UK cops who came over here (most gone back now I think) – came from a policing background where “dealing” with blacks could be a fascination, to be polite.

  4. Sirenia 4

    There have been a lot of work done by the police in many areas, but that doesn’t mean that it gets down to those on the front line who bring their own prejudices and biases in their treatment of citizens who don’t look or act like them. Professional development needs to be urgent ongoing and target those first responders (not just police) in the communities where those complaints come from.

  5. Lucy 5

    Its funny if you are not part of the group feeling that they are being attacked it’s “allegedly”. I thought that until I went to the UK when the police had the ability to stop and search under a law of Reasonable Suspicion “Sus” to its friends. Every time I went out with my Rasta friends everyone but the nice white girl would get searched! institutional racism is hard to eradicate, the fact that there is a more diverse police force may have the opposite result than expected – that is more racism not less by officers who perceive their colleagues are getting on due to affirmative action.

  6. McFlock 6

    Police claim to receive very positive feedback from African community.
    That’s alright then. Obviously the people who attended the meeting did so just to give positive feedback /sarc

  7. weka 7

    A dispute erupted after the release of AUT University research which claimed African youth felt unfairly targeted and sometimes racially abused by police.

    The police responded by denying the claims and using prominent migrant figures former Race Relations Conciliator Greg Fortuin and Muslim Association president Dr Anwar Ghani to talk up how tolerant the police are. (Stuff link)

    Institutional power 101.

    In the first instance be open and acknowledging. If you don’t understand why you are being criticised, stop and consider you might be missing something and that the people talking to you are experts in their own experience of racism (or whichever oppression it is).

    Avoid defensiveness. Bring in your own advisors and experience, but in a way that encourages open communication and ways of moving forward. Telling other people they’re wrong is a block to moving forward and reinforces the impression that the institution is not listening and/or is unaware and/or is racist.

    Listen and make an effort to hear what is being said.

    • stargazer 7.1

      yeah, i also didn’t like this bit – pitting ethnic communities against each other, effectively. i’m wondering if the 2 people quoted had read the full report (which i received today in my inbox) before commenting, or whether these were just general messages of support which had been pulled out as a response to this. i had received the police press release by email pretty early on as well, and it felt to me like a very defensive and angry reaction – the immediate response when under attack. times like this, a much more measured response and genuine engagement are definitely the better option.

      • weka 7.1.1

        True, and it’s hard to know what to make of the support messages out of context.

        It’s unclear from the Stuff article who they mean by ‘the Police’. Is it that the department that handled this isn’t part of the more progressive moves by the Police? Would it have been handled by general PR or gone to someone who understood the issues? (although you’d hope that in 2016 general PR would understand the issues).

  8. Jollo 8

    And yet in an age where almost every interaction with the cops ends up on youtube we haven’t seen a single one…

    The claims just seemed a little OTT, yeah I was just driving along minding my own business suddenly this white cop pulled me over and started yelling at me calling me a nigger.

    I mean surely the researchers should have done a bit of digging, i.e time/dates/places and put the allegations to the Police to see if a. the driver was actually even pulled over around the times they claimed in the first place, or whether it’s just a complete fabrication. I mean at the least, see the ticket they were given, that way at least they can remotely substantiate the claim.

    • Nick K 8.1

      More than just called them niggers. They beat them up and told them to Foxtrot Oscar back to their own country!

      Tui ad anyone?

  9. stargazer 9

    are you seriously suggesting that while they are having an interaction with a police officer, the young person should pull out a camera and start filming it? and even they are in a position to do that, do you think the police officer would change their behaviour once they are being filmed?

    also, how do you know that there aren’t details of dates and times etc? have you read the report?

    finally, the police did contact ms nakhid prior to her publishing the report. they were upset with it and wanted it not to be published. as i said above, the better approach would be to work with her to deal with the experiences detailed in the report.

    • Jollo 9.1

      They didnt even meet with them face to face. All they did was send out eighty online surveys and then published the responses as gospel. There was no fact checking, no verification, its essentially just a hit job with some very serious claims that deserve to be looked at on a case by case basis to ascertain the veracity.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Prime Minister to visit Fiji and Australia
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit two of New Zealand’s most important Pacific partners, Fiji and Australia, next week. The visit to Fiji will be the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fijian independence and diplomatic relations between our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Next steps in Criminal Cases Review Commission announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball, have today announced the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the location, and the membership of the Establishment Advisory Group. Colin Carruthers QC has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the CCRC for an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Horticultural Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced
    Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Hon Damien O’Connor co-announced the first horticultural finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebrating excellence in the Māori agricultural sector.  The three finalists are Ngai Tukairangi Trust from Mt Maunganui, Otama Marere Trust from Tauranga, and Hineora Orchard Te Kaha 15B Ahuwhenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New support for students with dyslexia
    A new kete of resources to strengthen support for students with dyslexia will provide extra tools for the new Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs) as they start in schools, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Minister launched the kete in Wellington this morning, at the first of three induction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Rental reforms progress to select committee stage
    The Government continues to make progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the First Reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and its referral to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.  “Now is the opportunity for landlords, tenants and others who want ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to visit New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Hon James Marape will visit New Zealand from 21-25 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have a warm and friendly relationship. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Marape here and strengthening the relationship between our two countries,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Free school lunches served up to thousands
    Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Social Wellbeing Agency replaces Social Investment Agency with new approach
    The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni today announced a new approach that continues to broaden the Government’s social sector focus from a narrow, investment approach to one centred on people and wellbeing. Minister Sepuloni said redefining the previous approach to social investment by combining science, data and lived experience ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to strengthen protections for whistleblowers
    The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. “The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and protect them from losing their jobs or being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM speech at Parliamentary Chinese New Year celebration 2020
    Nǐn hǎo (Hello in Mandarin). Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (Happy New Year in Mandarin) Néi Hóu (Hello in Cantonese). Sun Nin Fai Lok (Happy New Year in Cantonese) Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you for your invitation to attend this celebration today. I would like to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 2020 IPANZ Annual Address
    Kia ora. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki te Whare Pāremata. E ngā mana whenua ki tēnei rohe Taranaki Whānui, Te Upoko o Te Ika, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa – kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi. E ngā mana, e ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago