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Police spying must be investigated

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, September 17th, 2018 - 14 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, activism, Deep stuff, Media, Politics, Spying, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Amnesty International is petitioning the Government to hold an official inquiry into the actions of Thompson and Clark and their involvement in police activity.

That firm’s behaviour towards Standard author and well known political activist Rochelle Rees is a catalyst.

From Amnesty International’s website:

Rochelle stands up for what she believes in, the last thing she expected was that her activism would lead her here. Worried. Scared. Searching for the truth. Help make sure she gets it.

The evidence is mounting that over the last decade police and private investigator firm Thompson and Clark have been involved in increasingly sinister activities directed at activists, including surveillance and spying.

If true, this would be a serious blow to freedom of expression and assembly in New Zealand. It would damage the ability for people like us to safely speak out, a crucial part of a healthy democracy.

Recently investigative journalists Paula Penfold and Eugene Bingham released allegations that Thompson and Clark have a direct relationship with the New Zealand police that includes worrying conduct involving spying on activists.

This might be starting to sound like a story from an authoritarian country, that’s what I thought this morning when I read the allegations. It’s shocking that the police have seemingly been working to undermine political protest, to disrupt community organising and to dampen the effectiveness of democratic change. This is huge.

We rely on the police to keep us safe and be impartial. Until an inquiry happens, how can New Zealanders know what the police have been up to?

But, there is a way we can make this happen. We know the Government is currently looking into the alarming relationships between private spy firm Thompson and Clark and Government agencies. But, this inquiry doesn’t currently include the police. Together we can ensure it does.

You’ve done this before. Last year, after serious allegations revealed that the New Zealand Defence Force may have seriously breached people’s human rights, thousands of you asked for an inquiry. And you won, an inquiry is happening.

Now again, an organisation that is meant to keep New Zealanders safe may have totally overstepped. Together we can ensure that we get the truth. Sign the petition and demand that the inquiry is broadened to include the police and these most recent allegations.

There are serious questions about the Government’s past use of Thompson and Clark and an inquiry is already under way.

If you want more background read any of the Radio New Zealand articles on their behaviour and there are a few, or this chilling background which sets out why Rochelle is concerned.

If you want to sign the petition you can do so here.

14 comments on “Police spying must be investigated”

  1. McFlock 1

    What worries me is that there are two or three ways Thompson and Clark got so many government contracts within a couple of years of forming:

    • Former cop used former police experience (and maybe contacts) to get investigation contracts from underresourced police; and/or
    • the police and other departments deliberately cultivated a private company to keep invasive investigations out of the public representatives’ oversight

    Neither are healthy in a democracy.

  2. Michelle 2

    Thompson and Clarke were all part of the brighter future we were all promised
    and what did many NZders say ‘nothing to see nothing to hide’ but who was doing the hiding our very own government thats who, they were hiding their spying.

  3. SaveNZ 3

    Shocking, has no place in NZ – the resources are much better spent on police apprehending Meth dealers/importers and investigating and stopping corruption in local bodies and government agencies and possible spying and political lobbying in government in exchange for donations.

  4. SPC 4

    The private security contractor is the sword edge of the military industrial complex deep state. Undemocratic unaccountable operations.

    It’s huge business in the USA.

  5. SaveNZ 5

    It’s actually disgusting that someone in government via private spy agencies are paying private individuals to spy on someone they are in a relationship with. It’s like Cold War from 50 years ago, defiantly needs an official enquiry and an end to this sort of behaviour in NZ on private individuals.

  6. bwaghorn 6

    Are they (the police) doing anything with the information they are gathering ? Or are they just watching ?

    • SPC 6.1

      There was a law change to protect witnesses in court cases, enable them to give evidence anonymously.

      This allows private contractor agents to be secret witnesses (so they can continue to act undercover as agents for such companies on police contracts), the most obvious risk here maybe even to gather their evidence via various forms of surveillance (whereas police would need a warrant to present the evidence they gathered this way in court).

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Meanwhile, the police scramble to get Intel on actual nut jobs in the anti 1080 movement…

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      ???

      • Sanctuary 7.1.1

        The point I am making is the various state spying agencies & their parasite private security firms expend huge amounts of time and money spying on and monitoring democratic protest organisations of the “left’ while the actual real threats to domestic order – crazy anti-1080 activists, neo-Nazi groups and federated farmers – get little to no intelligence work done on them.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    This might be starting to sound like a story from an authoritarian country, that’s what I thought this morning when I read the allegations. It’s shocking that the police have seemingly been working to undermine political protest, to disrupt community organising and to dampen the effectiveness of democratic change. This is huge.

    The ‘police’ have been doing that for governments for centuries. What’s huge is that we seem to think that it’s changed.

    Yes, we need an inquiry as to how and what they do in our society in efforts to produce repression and even oppression. We also need a government that will work to stop what they do.

  9. corodale 9

    Hmmmm, the ol’ socialist threat, ah.

    Needless to say, these spy resources should be following the financial community, to get back the tax dodge money and all that.

  10. cleangreen 10

    But since the police have all these ‘wide powers of spying’ they still couldn’t catch tricky John key over the Panama Papers could they even after he left the country quickly????’

    Something smells here.

  11. Philj 11

    Let’s not forget the extra funding for the government spying agencies a few years ago. Come on coalition, sort this out. This corporate spy outsourcing IS NOT OK!

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