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

Time and tide

After six years, our Turning the Tide strategy, aimed at cutting Māori reoffending, has sailed off into the sunset.

It was a very quiet project, presumably with hard work being done behind the scenes, but with five out of seven of our own targets being missed – and Māori reoffending rates actually going up – no one could seriously claim it was a success.

It has now been optimistically “relaunched” as Te Huringa o Te Tai, with a new set of goals.

If these projects show one thing clearly, it’s that the struggle out there is real. The tide is still rising and Police don’t have the answers yet.

Visible policing

Down here at the coalface, we really want to be able to make a difference too.

So it’s a shame the six-month trial of putting an Armed Response Vehicle team in three districts has not been welcomed in some quarters. Exaggerated descriptions in the media such as “Armed police now roam parts of New Zealand” probably don’t help. (I know some of us are getting on, but was the allusion to dinosaurs necessary?)

A visible police presence is a good thing, and something the public does want, especially in areas with high crime rates.

Police seen carrying firearms, instead of having them in their vehicle lock boxes, may yet prove to be a deterrent.

Let’s wait for the end of the trial and see the results. At least it’s only six months, not six years…

Burning issues

If Police is concerned about sending the wrong messages to the public, the burnt-out Tāneatua Police Station in Eastern Bay of Plenty has been doing just that for the past year.

An abandoned, fire-damaged police station does not inspire confidence. But I hear that, thanks to acting area commander Stuart Nightingale, work is due to begin this month on a replacement.

And, not just any old building, but a “community hub unlike any other in New Zealand”. I’m keen to see the result and just hope it won’t be a case of style over functionality. Still, anything is better than
no police presence and an advertisement for arson.


A mate of mine visited the college last month and was told that driver training for recruits may be reduced. Apparently, it has already been cut back from 10 days to eight, but there’s talk of that being reduced even further, to five.

I’m not sure they’ve thought this one through, given the risks out there from the ever-increasing number of crazy drivers trying to evade police.

I thought the last IPCA report called for an increase in training?

As one who will be working out and about over Christmas, and its terrible twin New Year, I’ll certainly be grateful for my years of driving experience.


Stay safe out there...

Constable Iam Keen

To update Iam Keen with information, email [email protected]

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