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Iam Keen (November 2019)

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

A numbers game

It was great to see two of our Christchurch heroes recognised by their peers at the Police Association conference, and by the sounds of it, we had a couple of wise old heads showing the value of experience on the frontline. Also, good to see the Prime Minister making the effort to present the awards in front of the officers’ families. I am sure it was all well received.

Not quite so well received was the debacle about the elusive 1800. Talk about setting a math-phobic’s head spinning! When is 1800 only 600? When you don’t count attrition of course – but that was never the deal.

Sounds like it is all sorted now. Well, it had better be because it’s a great effort going on to get 1800 recruits through the college in double time, and pleasing to hear the Government isn’t stopping until we have the full 1800 EXTRA cops out there.

We need to make sure an election doesn’t derail these numbers and all parties commit to getting the full number on the streets.

Warnings spot on

I caught up with a few of the media stories coming out of the association conference. I certainly sat up and took notice at some of the details on where gangs in New Zealand are heading. I can certainly say that I have witnessed how much more visible the gangs are on the streets.

Now reading about the changes the 501s are creating on the local scene, the sooner those extra organised crime staff are out in the districts the better. Talk about timing, when the weekend after the association’s pow wow, a cop’s home and the local police station were shot at. If even they aren’t safe, the message is clear that gangs are emboldened, and the detective sergeant, who spoke at the conference, has proven spot on with his warnings.

I think the bosses are going to have to revisit exactly what our priorities are, as it seems pretty clear talking to mates around the country, that we are overstretched attending family harm and mental health incidents that don’t amount to criminal offending, and actually belong with another government department while the gangs grow in strength and danger to everyone’s safety.

Wairoa not on their beat

On the subject of risky streets, I see Police is trialling armed response vehicles in a few patches. Can’t say it is a surprise given the number of firearms incidents reported every week. Might help in the bigger centres, though I can’t see Wairoa getting one any time soon. It’s looking more likely we will have to be tooled up fulltime unless something changes quickly.

 

Stay safe out there...

Constable Iam Keen

 

To update Iam Keen with information, email iamkeen@policeassn.org.nz

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