Police – a mother’s testimony
Too many civil rights protection for crims and not enough for the rest of us?
This concern about community safety and street crime inevitably prompted complaints about too few police and too many strange police priorities.
All this sparked this letter from G Webster:
“I cannot be quiet for another minute while writers to this column criticise police.
“I am a police mother of a person of absolute integrity, kindness and honesty, dedicated to the work, who does care vehemently about animal and people’s rights in an increasingly drug, alcohol and crime-pitted world.
“Many young people in New Zealand have no parental guidance.
“Children are leaving school with none of the skills which would enable them to earn a living, house and feed themselves.
‘Some of these children come to the attention of police before they have committed a crime.
“It is frustrating to see decent kids heading towards a criminal future.
“Police do what they can in the time they have, which is precious little.
“Police see old and lonely people, they see homeless people in the open on freezing nights, they see people who show intelligence yet who have succumbed to drugs and who thieve or prostitute themselves in order to support the habit.
“Police attend unstable persons.
“Dead people often have been chopped to pieces in another road accident.
“In central cities such as Auckland, the police have keys to the morgue and are responsible for cleaning up the body or bodies in preparation for identification by a relative.
“And police see recidivist criminals.
“It does not matter how diligently police officers work, they are subject to a barrage of insults, threats and violence by many of the people apprehended, and then to another barrage of insults by the general public and the press.
“If a crime affecting you is inadequately dealt with by police, don’t blame the police.
“Blame any government that does not fully resource police.
“We need high-calibre police in numbers, we need many more police cars.
“To turn the rate of offend-
mentally ing back we need current prisons to become lock-up boarding schools.
“Teach every parenting skills married or not.
“Give every prisoner highly-efficient and reliable psychological tests to determine the current level of learning and to determine aptitudes and leanings towards particular careers.
“Then, guide him/her towards those careers with much praise and support.
“I believe some people find it difficult to learn in an environment where they are subjected to the criticism of peers, thus require one-toone teaching.
“And before the howls of derision are forthcoming from the public, let them assess the amount of lives, people, money, time and resources which for years have been wasted in my opinion by the current system.”
From Amy Masson: “You seem to believe the story from a mother about her son being charged for having an offensive weapon [a baseball bat] after an altercation. As do the readers whose replies you printed.
“Do you realise that there are usually two sides to any story?
“Don’t you think that the mother might be slightly biased when it comes to her son?
“Most important: What sort of person carries a ‘small baseball bat’ in their car?
“When I lived in a rough area of England, the sort of people that carried baseball bats in their car were usually described as thugs or football hooligans.”
Want a new career in what is certain to be a growth industry? Watch for ads like this: “Situations vacant: Opportunities are available for appointment to the Ministry of Education to innovative new roles in the Senior Inspectorate, Limited Attendance Centres.
“Required qualifications include some experience in and understanding of the significance of juvenile dancing and dressing-up techniques, ability to measure the depth of sandpits to assure their compliance with relevant OSH standards, competence in counting up to four and to consequent progressions of four.”
Crazy new Ministry of Education regulations due in force on December 1 have beefed up the rules on child- care – now redefined as “a range of learning opportunities” – at gyms, relabelled as “limited attendance centres” for this purpose.
For example: Gyms will be forced to have one creche staff member for every four children.
They’ll need to fill in sleeping logs so sweating mums who’ve just finished a onehour session will have a record of whether their child slept and for how long.
Under the new rules, outof-breath mothers may also get an instant briefing on their child’s interests, activities and learning patterns – as if they didn’t already know those all too well, 24/7.
All this for mothers who already combine busy lives and fitness fixations, who are answering the pleas of the Ministry of Health – you know, the people who urge mothers to keep exercising, don’t let yourself go.
Mothers whose days are already full of enough unnecessary problems about getting to a gym of their choice for a workout or two every week. And inevitably, understandably, who want to take their preschoolers with them. Without hassle or more problems.
Has the Ministry of Education talked to people like Sparc, the Ministry of Health – which always seems to rabbit on about obesity and fitness – or a worried NZ Rec- reation Association to see whether the “limited attendance centres” theory makes sense.
Already the association has made a strong point: “We should be reducing barriers to physical activity – not building up more.”
It’s a new system which is not necessary and which no one wants. Bar the planners, that is.
Parents aren’t demanding it. Gyms certainly aren’t.
Fitness New Zealand, whose members run 275 gyms, are opposed for what seem perfectly good physical and economic reasons.
The prediction is that dozens could close as a result – muscled out of existence by the ministry.
Education Minister Chris Carter has said that child safety is a major issue.
So what are the figures on child injury in gym creches?
Interestingly, Sunday schools got a ministerial exemption because of complaints that some could be forced to close if the new rules applied to them. Good lord.
If those on high can revise their thinking on them, then, for God’s sake, think again about gyms.
To contact Pat Booth email: firstname.lastname@example.org. All replies are open for publication unless marked Not For Publication.