Po­lice – a mother’s tes­ti­mony

Central Leader - - News -

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.”

in­mate whether

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: off­pat@snl.co.nz. All replies are open for pub­li­ca­tion un­less marked Not For Pub­li­ca­tion.

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