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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.

Better than a Briscoes sale

A judge recently found a defendant had offended at the high end of significant criminal activity for importing 4kg of meth and selling it, and then, when arrested, they had another 800g and $108,000 cash on them. The sentence started at 12 years’ imprisonment then the discount wheel of fortune was applied:

  • A 25% guilty plea discount.
  • A 20% discount for the information contained in the Section 27 cultural report.
  • A 10% discount to reflect addiction issues and rehabilitation efforts.
  • A 10% discount to reflect the impact of a traumatic brain injury which would make any sentence of imprisonment significantly harder.
  • A 10% discount to reflect the impact that a sentence of imprisonment would have on their children.
  • A 12-month discount to reflect the time spent on electronically monitored bail (about three years without issue).

This landed at a sentence of 24 months’ jail, which the judge then converted to 12 months’ home detention.

So 75% discount including 25% for an early guilty plea that only came on the first day of trial. So no guilty plea in the three years since and while on EM bail? No surprise we sometimes wonder why we bother arresting high-end offenders. The amount of work that must have gone into that investigation. Going by the above formula, that 100% effort was only really worth about 25% in the end.

Giving up the ghosts

Last month’s article on the state of Police stations around the country was pretty grim reading. I have firsthand experience of this environment but it looks like it’s country-wide and not going to improve any time soon. However, I hear there could be a bit of quality office space free in Wellington with projects being canned to save money but with Police stuck with fixed leases, there are ghost offices with nothing in them. Case of wrong place, wrong time, unfortunately.

More important fish to fry

I see there’s a 10-1 intranet item highlighting the awesome work our principal protection officers (PPOs) do, and it’s pretty much an advert for more candidates. Would this have something to do with district PPOs leaving their BAU roles and families due to all the short notice “deployments” to Wellington because there’s a shortage there? Those men and women do an amazing job, and I don’t fancy even thinking of trying to pass their selections, but how about leaving the district staff alone. Yes, they will work when VIPs come to town, but getting pushed and pulled to Wellington all the time is wearing the “devotion” thin.

Short notes (just like YouTube)

  • Sunday blues: Am I the only cop that didn’t watch the Sunday TV programme about the new gang legislation? How in God’s name are we supposed to enforce it with our current Police numbers? We spend 75% of our time on family harm and mental health. They are dreaming!
  • Pay roundabout: Again, our Police executive has to go cap in hand to the Government asking, pleading, for more money. And the answer? “Um, not yet. We’ll let you know.” I want to know where all the money went in the first place. Overspending in PNHQ by PNHQ?

Stay safe out there.

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