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I Am Keen June 2021

This column is written by a frontline police member. It does not represent the views or policies of the Police Association.

There's a chill in the air
I know winter is coming, but all this talk from the Government about a pay freeze is already sending a chill down my spine.

I’m not sure how out of touch they are in Wellington, but if they thought telling cops, nurses and teachers that they won’t get a pay increase for three years was ever going to wash, it would appear the Covid fog has well and truly descended on the capital.

I am rather confused about what the current message on this actually is, with various ministers seeming to be backing the truck up at high speed, but my pay round advisor tells me any talk of a backtrack might just be rhetoric, and peanuts seems to be all there is going on the table.

I get that we are in crazy times, but no one has seen the economy tank – just everything going up in price – and this needs to be recognised with a fair pay offer.

From what I hear some tough negotiations will be required.

Custody under scrutiny

Talking about tough times, my thoughts are with our three colleagues on trial for manslaughter in New Plymouth.

Any of us who have worked in custody units or rural police stations will be thinking, there, but for the grace of God, goes me.

I don’t know all the facts, but I do know that training for custody management is woeful and the cells in many of our stations are straight out of yesteryear.

I really want to know where management is at on dealing with the big issues of custody and creating an environment where staff and prisoners are safe.

My big-city cousin tells me that Counties staff seem to have found a novel way of reducing the risk in their custody unit.

Apparently, before you can bring a prisoner in, you have to ring the senior sergeant for approval, which can be tough to get.

From what I hear, stealing a car and assaulting the arresting officer warrants only a summons these days.

These policies have consequences, though not for the offender it would seem.

Stay safe out there.

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