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Panel discusses Howard Broad interview

Published: 1:42PM Sunday April 11, 2010 Source: Q+A

PANEL DISCUSSIONS led by PAUL HOLMES
Response to COMMISSIONER HOWARD BROAD interview


PAUL Prevention, prevention, prevention, is one of the things the Commissioner seemed very keen on.

JON JOHANSSON
- Political Analyst
Yeah indeed, but you know I was staggered there to learn 18% of their Police budget's going to sort of alcohol related crimes and what have you, but it's just such a complex area right, I mean inequality is at the root of it, and the Police can only deal with the consequences of that inequality but we are I think a violent country, in fact I think that's been our history, we were known as the hell hole in the Pacific, you know back in the early 19th century, so maybe it's functions of our geography and our socialisation and the socio economic plight of people, but it's creating such a you know generational and enduring legacy, that you know one wonders really - you know you've gotta have empathy for the Police here in just doing what they can do.

PAUL
Are we a violent country Deborah Coddington, are we any more violent than anyone else?

DEBORAH CODDINGTON
- Former ACT MP
Oh yes I think we are a violent country but it was interesting listening to Howard Broad talk about deterrents in crime prevention because last year I listened to a speech by Eric Holder, Obama's Attorney General in Chicago, and he talked about they're abandoning the three strikes because when that was brought in it did work for a while, crime did go down, but then it plateaued and now it's going up to the situation now where one in every 100 adults in the United States is incarcerated, now that's a terrible statistic, one in every 100 adults and most of it is recidivism, you know they come out and they commit a crime and they go back, and the pockets where prevention is working is where they have prison education, drug and alcohol treatment, in prisons, and workplace schemes in prisons. So they are now working towards that, they are adopting those, and those are the areas where they are having people come out and where crime is going down, and what we have to look at is do we want - we've got to abandon this tough, the sensible sentencing sort of vengeance, this private vengeance, and three strikes and you're out - do we want the situation where we have bad from bad or do we want good from bad and I think we want good from bad.

PAUL
Do I take it we've gone away from ACT policy?

DEBORAH
That was never ACT policy.

PAUL
Three strikes?

DEBORAH
No it wasn't, this is new ACT, this was not old ACT, ACT was a liberal party?

BOB
Is there a difference?

DEBORAH
It is a difference yes.

PAUL
What did you take from the Howard Broad interview Bob?

BOB HARVEY - Waitakere City Mayor
Well I think prevention is the whole answer, I mean I'm on my fourth year of it's not okay, the most dangerous place in New Zealand is in the home, 80% I think of all cops racing around our towns are going to domestic violence, and that's why Whanau Ora may really pull it off, wrapping around the violent families and the families that are simply malfunctioning. Well I think that they need support and they need help and they need it now. I mean I've cleaned up all the graffiti out of Waitakere because it's a dangerous kind of sign that creates an element of unsafe cities, and I've pulled the Gun Show. The Gun Show in Waitakere in the West Wave Centre is huge, I've thought enough of that, after the Hokitika shootings I thought - I told the Council this week, no more bookings for the Gun Show. I mean I know there's a whole lot of responsible gun owners, of course there is, but hey the signal is - I'm over it.

PAUL
You are sending a signal that's right. So to distil it all to be nice and simple about it, should we simply get tougher, do longer sentences, lock people up, throw away the damn key?

JON
You can't do that.

DEBORAH
There are some people - there's a hard core that you have to keep them locked up to keep people safe, but it's not a one size fits all.

JON
In this society do we believe in the quality of redemption and if we do then we need to put the money into rehabilitation resources.

PAUL
There are no resources in the prisons really for drug rehabilitation.

DEBORAH
There's none, no, I has to be a minimum of I think it's four or five years imprisonment before you qualify.

PAUL
Howard Broad made a very good point too about when we were at university in the old days and we were drinking 4% beer, you know you'd go down the pub and get a jug of 4% beer, these Alco pops that girls, teenagers are drinking are revolting, should they be withdrawn.

BOB
They're revolting to us, but not when you're young, not when you're teenagers, and up the road here from these studios you can buy beer 13% now. Now that's loaded that's dynamite, that's what's happening now.

DEBORAH
Yeah well I think it's time middle class parents took some responsibility for what their kids are doing, you can't just blame the Police all the time, Courtenay Place is a disgrace, and that's a local body issue, the Council should clean it up.

BOB Couldn't agree more.

PAUL
Guyon was talking about whether the Police have enough Maori in them, and certainly there's well an antipathy perhaps between Maori generally and the Police, and Howard Broad had this to say.
Howard Broad: 'If it was a straight out choice, all other things being equal we'd go for the Maori probably, but we don't have a proactive programme or positive discrimination programme for doing that.'

PAUL
We're getting a bit of feedback coming in as a matter of fact on the emails and the texts already that sound a little bit racist, but do we have enough Maori in the Police, do we have enough Pacific Islanders, Indians.

JON
Well the answer is no, and not just talking about ethnicity but what about women as well cos you know you're talking about the Police culture and yes some women are now rising through the ranks, but I'm still uncertain as to just how much they're now becoming a stable part of the workforce there, and Asian they've always had trouble recruiting Asian.

BOB
And I think there should be more Asians in the Police Force. He's actually talking about would they stop a carload of Maori, or a carload of Pakehas.

PAUL
Could I get a yes or not from each of you on that? Would they be more likely stopped if they were a carload of Maori or a carload of European?

BOB
At three o'clock in the morning they'd stop the Maori.

JON
3.30 they'd still stop them.

DEBORAH
Well I think they'd stop them, I agree with Howard Broad, whoever was likely to commit a robbery they'd stop them.

PAUL
Well how do you know of they're gonna commit a robbery?

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