Policing in a Commonwealth country means we all swear an oath (not that kind!) to serve the head of state, and the Queen has been part of the fabric New Zealand policing for generations.
Most police stations have a portrait of the Queen on a wall somewhere. She’s literally been part of the furniture. From now on, our pledge will be to the King. But perhaps we won’t be permitted to display a photo of him? Better run that by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
The IPCA and OPC want to take away more of cops’ tools, and precious ones at that. The idea that police can’t obtain photographs or fingerprints voluntarily is absurd. Everyone has the right to volunteer something, and we all know that such information can be crucial in preventing and solving crime.
Such views from the IPCA seem further proof, of late, that it is out of step with what most New Zealanders would think. While they’re meant to be a watch dog, they risk becoming irrelevant if they continue to make calls that lack common sense.
I see that a review has announced a desire to make the Police College the “beating heart” of Police by revamping the design and delivery of professional development.
Sound familiar? It feels to me like the college has been in a never-ending cycle of training reviews and revamps for years. I’m positively dizzy trying to keep track of continuous learning, and I’m not sure the changes have led to improvements.
The feedback I get is that recruits are being let down by not being sufficiently prepared for the realities of what they will be expected to do when they graduate.
One suggestion is that the recruit course may be extended, which makes sense. The current 16 weeks is well short of the 22 I did, and with a stint on station duty in the middle. While most policing is learnt on the job, knowing how to take a statement and put an arrest file together before you leave the college is very helpful.
And let’s get the specialist courses going again. Ongoing training has gone seriously backwards, and online courses are not the answer. Let’s get the beating heart pumping for all of us.
Speaking of training, feedback has found its way to the South Island from the Auckland rugby team over their non-appearance at the Winter Games in the Hutt Valley this year.
The players took exception to the rumour that they didn’t show because they were saving themselves for other games. Not true, they say. They were out for the count with injuries, AOS courses, difficulty getting leave and the costs of travel and were disappointed they couldn’t take part.
Fair enough, and they do have the Matt Ratana Cup against Counties this month and then a trip to Queenstown to defend the Police Challenge Cup on the 28th, so I wish them all the best for getting a team over the line this time.
This column is written by a frontline police member. It does not represent the views or policies of the Police Association.