Friday, 26 May 2006

It's an un-fair cop

After a dozen or more years of John Banks' amalgamation of cops and traffic cops it's clear it hasn't worked. Instead of more policemen on the beat and an improvement in the thuggish culture of the traffic cops we got exactly the reverse -- more traffic cops, and more policemen turning into thugs.

The recent rash of rape trials of high-ranking policemen just makes clear what most of us already know: that all is not well with the force. Our policemen and women seem to spend more time doing us over than they do protecting us. Burgled? 'Don't bother us, we're too busy.' Car stolen? 'Not interested.' Home invasion? 'Let us know how you got on.' Rape? 'Out the back, thanks.' Speeding? Warrant offence? Rego overdue? 'Get out of the car, sir, and empty your wallet.'

Today's police are not our friends, as Louise Nicholas for one might attest. As Trevor Loudon notes,
Today, when you say "Police" to many people, they envision a specially marked car with flashing lights in their rear-view mirror. That car is perceived to be a predator seeking to attack the driver's wallet usually with little or no justification. Many people believe they are more likely to be ripped-off by a traffic cops than by gang members. Real criminals hardly consider the Police as a threat anymore. This image has produced the "us and them" separation between the public and the Police.
And as all those new policemen and women might well make it all worse, rather than better, Trevor's zapped out a few thoughts on how to "make 'Cop' the highly respected word it once was." Something sure needs to be done, and urgently. The motto 'To Serve and Protect' would hardly be appropriate at present, would it. More like a sad, sorry joke.

LINKS: Acquitted Nicholas-case trio face new sex trial - NZ Herald
How to save our Police Force - New Zeal (Trevor Loudon)

Politics-NZ, Law

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