Empty rhetoric

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

‘Paua check­point catches ev­ery­one’, read the head­line (De­cem­ber 27).

The MPI Fish­ery com­pli­ance team mem­bers should be com­mended for their re­cent op­er­a­tion at Ahipara, when a num­ber of paua poach­ers were ap­pre­hended at a check­point, and the ap­pro­pri­ate in­fringe­ment no­tices is­sued. It is re­as­sur­ing to learn that some laws are be­ing en­forced here.

It would be great if those whom we de­pend upon to en­force the traf­fic laws in our area could find ei­ther the re­sources or the will, which­ever it is that is miss­ing (some­one suggested the lat­ter, and even vested in­ter­ests, but surely that can’t be so . . . this is New Zea­land, af­ter all!) to set up ran­dom check­points, and do some is­su­ing. Then we might read the head­line ‘Or­der re­stored to Ahipara streets.’

The first para­graph of the for­ward to the Road Polic­ing Ac­tion Plan to 2020, pre­sented by Road Polic­ing’s na­tional man­ager, pub­lished July 2016 tells us; “Road safety, re­duc­ing crime and so­cial harm, and build­ing pub­lic trust and con­fi­dence are Our Busi­ness. To re­flect this, po­lice de­vel­oped this Road Polic­ing Ac­tion Plan to 2020 for all of po­lice. This means if any staff see some­thing on the roads, they should at­tend to it. It em­pha­sises that en­force­ment and pre­ven­tion are com­ple­men­tary, that part­ner­ships are cru­cial, and that ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship is the key to suc­cess in re­duc­ing road trauma and crime.”

So, ‘en­force­ment and pre­ven­tion are com­ple­men­tary’ then? And pub­lic trust? Law-abid­ing res­i­dents of and vis­i­tors to Ahipara might, with real jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, re­gard that state­ment, and the words that fol­low in the ac­tion plan, sim­ply as empty rhetoric, given what has been al­lowed to per­sist upon the streets of Ahipara dur­ing the Christ­mas/ New Year hol­i­day.

The prob­lem is, when vic­tims (yes, vic­tims) phone to com­plain, they are asked to sup­ply de­tails that are ir­rel­e­vant to the over­all sit­u­a­tion. When some­one de­cides to re­port a wheel­stand­ing trail biker, for in­stance, he /she will typ­i­cally be asked “What was he wear­ing? Did he have a hel­met on? How fast do you think he was go­ing? Which di­rec­tion? How do you spell your street name?” etc.

It is not recog­nised that the caller is try­ing to con­vey to the au­thor­ity that the in­ci­dent is just one more typ­i­cal of the on­go­ing may­hem around our streets, in the ex­pec­ta­tion that the in­for­ma­tion might be used to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion as promised in the Road Polic­ing Plan.

Surely, all ratepay­ers, el­derly and un­well res­i­dents, and the rid­ers/driv­ers of reg­is­tered, war­ranted ve­hi­cles, de­serve greater pro­tec­tion from these mis­cre­ants than they are presently re­ceiv­ing? NAME AND AD­DRESS SUP­PLIED

Ahipara

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