They do both start with P

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, October 24th, 2010 - 7 comments
Categories: law and "order" - Tags: , ,

Prison Officers and Police should be clearly distinguishable in their roles, their responsibilities and their appearance. The message that accompanied the recently announced revamp of the Prison Officers’ uniform is a misrepresentation of the severity of change that has been enacted. I have no doubt that the previous uniforms were uncomfortable and improvements are surely welcome. I certainly agree with any improvement in Officer safety which should always be a primary concern for the people on the front line, and those who decide what happens on the front line.

It is one thing to alter the styling or the fabric of a uniform, it is something all together different to change the colour to one that is deliberately and admittedly similar to the Police. In a public consciousness it is suggesting a defacto deputisation of the Prison Officer which either elevates the authority of the Prison Service or it diminishes the role of the Police. Obviously the prior, as reduction in authoritarian roles has never been a hallmark of any Government.

“They are blue – to match other uniforms in the justice sector such as police.” These words from the Police Minister are very difficult to misconstrue. The choice of colour was deliberate and in case everyone has forgotten, the uniforms were olive to make the clear distinction of Prison Officers from Police. This distinction is particularly important in court, where both services have well defined roles and must co-ordinate efficiently with a very difficult job to do. Any potential for confusion when dealing with incarcerated individuals is never something to be taken lightly. Personally, I question the potential and motive for this decision to subvert the perception of authority in the Police and the Prison System.

– freedom

7 comments on “They do both start with P”

  1. Bill 1

    Am I right in saying that there used to be a far greater distinction between the uniforms of police and ambulance staff?

    And in the decals/colours of police cars and medical vehicles?

    And that there were three very distinct sirens for police, ambulance and fire brigade respectively instead of the indistinguishable ‘US wail’ we have today?

    And that when control and safety become confounded, the levels of control that can be exerted or implemented are heightened due to the association in people’s minds of control with aid?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Ambulances still do have a distinct siren from the police. Not sure about fire engines, though.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      “And that there were three very distinct sirens for police, ambulance and fire brigade respectively instead of the indistinguishable ‘US wail’ we have today?”
      I defintely do remember that, I used to be able to identify them when I heard them, not any more! It’s just another example of the Americanisation of our country..
      (NB, the word *is* spelt with an ‘s’ unless you are an American!)

  2. bbfloyd 2

    just another small step toward an openly fascist state.. a small one , but still useful in the orwellian fashion.

  3. SHG 3

    I hear that they all fly in black helicopters now too.

    • felix 3.1

      This post is about dressing corrections staff as police officers. How does that relate to your comment, for those of us too slow to follow your awesome wit?

  4. wasi 4

    this may be to do with the demographics around the future privatisation of the prison service…and the future wind-down of the publicly funded justice system in NZ…ie; what colour are the uniforms of private corrections officers going to opposed to the blue uniforms of what`s left of our publicly funded justice sector..after the police and corrections are other words part of the process of rationalisation and cost cutting and rollback of taxpayer funded justice in NZ… could simply be that crusher likes her boys in blue…

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