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Questions over armed police patrols


The Cure I'm Alex Ashton and this is the detail today. Why Armed Police patrols are underway? In Auckland Waikato two and Canterbury by will look like every other frontline police officer but they will be equipped and such a way that I will be able to respond to incidents in a way that immediately provides support to other frontline staff to ensure ensure communities remains at least three specially trained. I always officers will travel in these. SUV's that always carry standard Glock pistols entices with rifles locked in the boots. What's behind the armed patrols and protests against them the placement is just a piston at the end of the day and he might be having in a bad day? Yeah anyone having a bad day with a firearm will change the way people see the police and I think think it also runs the risk of of having Six to the community those with a criminal. Leanings arming themselves. If they commit a crime and I think there's a risk that John Police teams will be there in. They will align themselves to perhaps be more inclined to use those firearms on a Friday morning. A few weeks back and monocoque media will cool to hear an announcement from the police. Commissioner Mike Bush. What we're doing today is we are launching a pilot for armed response teams? Now that pilot will occur in three districts counties Monaco the neighboring district of Waikato and Canterbury and that announcement from police raised questions for detective tuned private investigator to McConnell. That question being do we need armed onto patrols or think it's a question that's yet to be properly answered We at communities headed announced by police that that's what was happening. We must be in in a position to deploy staff appropriately to keep out people and the community site at all times the described it as a trolley. All or nothing. That's that's probably the description of what they're doing but they're a pretty wide range of unanswered questions about why and is the thing for our community. Why are we doing this? I mentioned a minute ago that the operating environment has changed over the last few years and particularly after March fifteen. and Christ you. What was your initial reaction when you heard about this? I was surprised just twenty years ago when I was in the police and South Oakland. We talked a lot about and it was important to consultant. Communicate and deal with community community lead policing was the way policing was done. And so from what to speak of something like this is a fundamental change in the way we police communities and I would have thought that would have been quite wide-ranging community consultation on something like this being implemented as far as I can see. That's not what happened since much fifteen. Ucla and police responded to thirteen hundred and fifty reported firearm. Is it really that surprising to say something like this us especially given what we saw much. We'll question that premise. What what's changed since then? That was a one-off incident What might have changed is an awareness and and and attention on farms and far lot? Firearms related issues. Wasn't the before but does that mean that because of what happened on March fifteen everything everything has changed on. I'm not sure that much fifteen changed anything of them what happened on March fifteen There is greater witnesses greater attentions greater resources going into that side of policing short. But does that mean that the fundamental fabric of society and the use of firearms has actually changed it all on one hundred and eighty occasions since March for Dane firearms have been presented to members of the public all all police on seventeen occasions since March. Fifteenth firearms have have been presented at police officers and a half -cations since March fifth day. Police officers have been fought upon. We must be in a in a position to ensure that deployment is his professional and deploys in such a way that we can keep people New Zealand police officers in the community. Saif could you cynically call it a little bit opportunistic to use much fifteenth as a rationale for this. I'm not sure that I would want to Make that accusation without having the opportunity to to US direct questions. But I think it's e that some people are saying that it's opportunistic uh-huh we see globally around Issues associated with terrorism that governments take opportunities to introduce legislation elation and changes in the way they enforce the law on the back of a terrorist incidents I would hate to think that that That was something that was happening. Here you will see behind me. The vehicles that they would play standard police vehicles. They Marked in a way that makes them look a little different so that people know what they are because we need to be absolutely transparent about what we're doing police. Deputy Commissioner Commissioner. John Timms seized her. A whip. People will have concerns about the AIT's but must recognize that the environment has changed in police. Resourcing incapability capability needs to reflect this. The obvious fear here. I guess. Is that people who don't need to be shot are shot. Do you think that given this whole thing's going to be under such tight scrutiny that that is a legitimate fear. We'll hope it is under taught scrutiny. A hope fits properly examined. The the introduction of these teams isn't something that's faced a great deal of scrutiny. We had a press a press conference and some flashing lots and And Awesome Nice cars produced in and we were told this happening. That's you know in my view. That's policing bud decree not policing concedes. So I I have some MM questions about with a not there as the justification for this if you look at the way Police here and in other countries deploy Eh Other parts of their awesome sight dogs will ties for example then we see that they Disproportionately deployed against certain sectors of community In New Zealand Modern Pacifica in particular in other countries. It's it's racial minorities so I think there is a fairly substantial the body of evidence that tells us that. There is a risk that these teams will be deployed against Muslim Pacific communities. And the pushback started said Straightaway Pacific mother of two has helped launched a petition urging the police to scrape the armed response pilot saying she's worried about who community's future future if it becomes permanent and protest rallies. It is an insult to tell us that it's for the safety of community because of this white. Supremacist terrorist. I detect an agency that historically and currently have harmed Molly Communities Pacific Communities Brown communities they. You cannot say that they here to keep us safe because we don't we don't feel that way what's difficult what they supposed to Charles because everybody knows they're on trial and they'll be deployed and they'll be aware of this trial prices and and the system so it will be potentially runs the risk of being a these teams deployed away and operating in a way that would be slightly different than than what they would be if they went on trial because the teachers looking or whatever. Yeah exactly but you know when one of the one of the overwhelming voices that oh I've heard from the communities from face Collins a counselor and South Oakland historically these communities have had really poor interactions with the police. All all the research suggests to us that they're going to feel unsafe with him if you're Mardi your thirteen more times likely to have a dog than a few Apache her. You're eight times more likely to have a Taser on you if you're Mardi than if you Apache her and so That's a fair point. What are the police doing to measure? Hell these teams are deployed Loyd and with it being deployed and what if the cities of they've been deployed against you know the way the police click tighter at the moment around their interactions with the community. There is a gap and tombs of who it is dealing with. We're only able to see things like Racial boss Once a formal process begins against There are gaps in the information around interactions and and hell general policing teams used. I would hate for this these types of teams To operate in a way where we can't look back and see how that would against ethnic minorities. The police admit that unconscious bias exists awesome the fullest and Trying to change the way they do things to tune the numbers around. They've just released the new MARDI strategy to hooting. OUGHTA tie which among other other things aims to slash Mardi re-offending by a quarter by twenty twenty five later this week. The details going to delve into exactly what the police are trying to do. Do with the new strategy and with it will make a difference commissioner Bush's done a good thing biotechnology that I conscious boss exists but is really difficult to separate alright. Applying fled out deliberate racism from unconscious boss without a detailed interviews and assessments of people. It's very difficult. Oh for us to differentiate what it is dealing with but it is undoubted a on the evidence that there is boss in policing and law enforcement by globally in here in New Zealand but the evidence is clear when it comes to militarizing the police but as Braun males who are going to suffer the most. And that's the danger. I see if you had the commissioner in front of you. What questions would you ask him about? Why these trials being implemented to stop by seeing some comparative data? So we've they've they've they've trotted out some numbers around Farms related issues But we we haven't seen evidence that there there's an increase or arise in these types of incidents. So that's one thing I would want to cover what was confirming that is actually being an increased sentence since much fifteenth. Yeah that's it's raw number exactly because it's meaningless. A big number is meaningless if if compared to previous years it is No greater or will pepsi. Even listen there is some evidence to suggest That farms crimes are on the decrease. So if you take that in the context of off the firearms amnesty where we taking teens of literally teens of thousands farms out of circulation here Zealand The what is the justification vacation for this. So I WANNA talk of commissioner about that. I'd like to talk to the Commissioner. About what are the options were considered. Was this the best option And and and why the why the community that have been selected for this particularly counties. Manica wife they've been selected for this and the final question. I would want to ask commissioner and a a Luckett beyonce's what practical examples of the Teams like this would have been effective and we didn't have them so what Hollis the these teams plugging and that's not clear to me. People might remember the broken windows policy Sort of policing take out of New Yorkers Zero Tolerance Lawrence type Policing it was something that was taken on board here. It's it's those It would have been in the late. Ninety S it was around that time limited merged at a New York City and it was an example of tough policing in particular neighborhoods and it's proved proved to be Completely floored but US and other parts of the global policing community looked at it sore an initial drop rope and crime and took it on If you look at what's happening With the research and the literature now in the states around the militarization of police it's generally generally being regarded as unsuccessful. It doesn't make police any safer and community Stein a paedophilia decipher in fact. There is some evidence to suggest I feel safe. It just encourages people to other people's criminals and things to carry guns as well. I don't think we'll make it safer but oh help prevent more from happening at. I'm unsure but the part of it is it really that different to how things are at the moment we already have armed offenders squad on call. Yeah I think it's really such a fundamental change would fund. I think it is a major change having a twenty four seven on police teams roaming the streets looking for work I think is a fundamental change. I enjoy think In in particular communities CAN'T MEDICO for for example. It's a substantial change. And it's I think the commissioner made a reasonably good point. They'll be traced law. No more police officers but they weren't people know who that they driving around and in and tinted out issue as They weren't just be reactive. They the the commissioners admitted though be US warrants and and and other operations and I think that You could make the slippery slope argument once you introduce This it becomes much easier to make them part of the mainstream strain. And so I think we need to think very very carefully before we we accept their introduction slippery slope to Walt a for the militarization of policing so that would mean more of these teams sort of more readily available Deployment on an on occasions with not necessarily required. Because they need to be seen to be busy. They need to be justifying The the reason for existence and justifying the cost that will come with them those sorts of things so but overall it's the slippery slope towards the militarization of policing in new New Zealand which concerns me the most win this is evaluated and they look to judge whether this has been successful or not. What do they look for these teams doing nothing? Is that a great result WHO These teams shooting a couple of people. Is that a good result. That does that kind of continue. It does consume as part of the Pike Ness S. of of of the argument that's been put forward for their introduction. Not only do we not know Diaz was was considered and rode out and preference for these teams. But we don't know how they're going. It'd be measured. I think it's all very vague and I think again coming back to the To the assessment of these on what Bisi will that'd be regarded as a success. And I think that's a really important question. That's not the answer to that. It's not clear the commissioner hasn't been clear about that I think it's too late now. These teams exist communities. We want some communities want really firm answers about how they're going to be measured and whether we're going to know which communities and which if necessary have been deployed against we have been pushed out of the decision making process over whether or not we will have teams of cops rolling around out strays around our harms earn families and the cans? Did you see this stuff differently when you were in the police force. Yeah I did to some extent I think I think it's It's only natural that when the before you go into when you leave that you'll views change and I think you know I've I've been reasonably clear that I'll have some concerns about the introduction of these teams but at the same time it is an incredibly difficult job and police offices. I originally put in harm's way and on occasions and there are there are occasions where we police don't hit the tolls. They necessarily Lisa -serily need to do the job. And we don't want to see police officers getting hurt and injured at work and so they need to have the toes and they need to be protected but even if you look at Violence against police offices In recent years I'm not I haven't the data that that makes it clear that it's on the increase and so I just think we need. It's easy for me now to be To question these things to B.'s. He's more Jacob. Because it's not me on the front lawn and so I think that's a reasonable point. Mike Bush's at the trial does not mark the start of routinely tamely armed officers. This complements our current operating model as people know We've been very about the fact that all of our frontline staff are well L. trained and well equipped and immediate access to technical options which played firearms. The police ministers chew at Nash. She is a similar message. This is not what about General Hammond. This is about specialized squads of men and women who begin knicks skills that allow them to respond in a way that they haven't been able to today. It's interesting thing to me that the stewed nation particular and to a lesser extent. The promised to send her a Dune have really declined to get too heavily. Involved evolved the discussion. They've simply stated. It's an operational metaphor place I would. I would argue that such a fundamental change in the way we police communities is a political issue I accept breath and understand the need for operational independence. But this is a major change and I'd be interested to know what discussions were had with with Police Minister Mr in particular Between Him and the commissioner and his leadership team about the introduction of these teams. It's not an insignificant change to the way we police. It really isn't And I say that as somebody that's has worked in the police and now works on defense teams and those sorts of things. So I think it's a substantial change orange and I'm open to being convinced that it is the only option on wipe into that but on far from convinced. And what would you need to see to begin to that. I would need to see the data would need to see the research. I'd need to see it and now the teams are introduced that they're being feeling deployed And I would need to see the evidence that there is no bid away. That's the detail for today. I'm Alex Ashton the detail is brought to you by newsroom. Dot Dot Co dot indeed made possible by the Arina Insead on Innovation Fund. Hit the subscribe button to stay across the detail every day. And if you're an apple boop plays leader writing as it helps other listeners find us. This episode was engineered by Jeremy and produced by Alexia Russell Martin

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