Kiwis Say ‘yes’ the Police Are Losing Our Trust
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday 9 October, 2013
Kiwis Say ‘yes’ the Police Are Losing Our Trust Tonight On Tv3’s the Vote
The police are our thin blue line - keeping us safe and enforcing the law. But do we still have confidence that they’re on our side and playing fair?
Tonight viewers voted YES to the moot ‘‘The Police are losing our Trust’ during TV3’s national debate programme The Vote.
Duncan Garner and the Affirmative team were declared the winners of the debate at the end of the hour-long show with the votes tallied at 56% YES, 44% NO.
The theatre audience voted before and after the debate. The results are:
Theatre audience vote – prior to debate
Theatre audience vote – end of debate
A Facebook poll during the debate asked “Should all police officers be armed?” The results were 61% YES, 39% NO.
Dubbed ‘competitive current affairs’, The Vote sees co-hosts Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner each month lead two teams to debate a hot topic, with Linda Clark keeping order as referee.
For tonight’s debate, a coin toss decided Duncan Garner would led the FOR team, with criminal lawyers Marie Dyhrberg and Michael Bott, and broadcaster and former politician, Pam Corkery. Joining Guyon Espiner on the Against team were clinical psychologist Ian Lambie, crown solicitor Mary-Jane Thomas, and Greg O’Connor, President of Police Association. Broadcaster and lawyer, Linda Clark was again charged with keeping the debaters in line and on topic.
The arguments FOR:
“Some surveys show approximately a third of crime is
simply not reported which to me indicates, and from what I
hear, from clients, and from people generally is that
there’s no point, you report a burglary, nothing happens.
We’re treated as if we’re a waste of time, what are we
doing? We have no resources. We have big crime.” – Marie
* “I have great faith in the police. I admit that freely … At the same time I have grave doubts about the transparency of the process to monitor the police and there are police out there who aren’t doing their job.” – Michael Bott
* “When you have significant power you’ve got to have proper accountability and transparency.” – Michael Bott
* “So what about that internal police survey we’ve spoken about tonight? 36% of police don’t feel like they can take a complaint about inappropriate behaviour to their superiors, because of the backlash that they might get. They don’t know and they don’t have confidence in the outcome. That’s an indictment isn’t it?” – Duncan Garner
* “[The police] signed a solemn oath to uphold the law …It’s like the Catholic Church with paedophiles. They hid them for long enough, finally they had to get a new boss in. That’s what has to happen in New Zealand.” – Pam Corkery
* “I think there’s a great number of police that start out, they come into the police force, they want to make a difference. Many maintain those standards, no question about that. But if I just might quote something Greg O’Connor said in a press release as well, is that “in terms of convicted police officers, one is too many”. We are seeing a slippery slope and we must arrest that, we must be vigilant.” – Marie Dhyrberg
* “We’ve got two arguments from the opposition at the moment. One is we’ve got to have faith, we need to believe and the other one is just statistics. If the police were a toaster I’d take them back based on the stats you’ve put up tonight.” – Pam Corkery
* “I’ve worked for over thirty years with people who have no expectation of fair treatment. I work not with the police, I deal with the people who are suffering at the hands of the police, so I have stories like you, and complaints. They don’t bother, there’s no point, they don’t expect anything is going to happen. Now that’s not everyone, but it’s significant enough for me to be very concerned and say there is something wrong.” – Marie Dhyrberg
The arguments AGAINST:
* “Look at the statistics, 15% less crime
so that means if you look around this theatre here there’s
a good proportion of these people who won’t be victims of
crime because police are doing a very good job . While all
that at the same time we’re maintaining public
confidence.” - Greg O’Connor
* “Look we are not perfect. What you need to know to keep confidence in the New Zealand police is all of those cases that were brought up, most of them are brought to public attention by the police themselves, and that’s why you know about them. Because police now, look I’ve been in the police 30 years, we are so much more accountable now than we have ever been.” - Greg O’Connor
* “There have been massive changes in the way we deal with sexual abuse victims, there have been massive changes in the last 20 years in the way we deal with domestic violence…There’s no question about it, in 1983 you’d get a knock at the door (and I’m not being disrespectful to the old cops) and they’d look at you and I think a lot of them would walk away. And it’s just wrong to suggest there’s not been a massive change in the way we deal with victims.” - Mary-Jane Thomas
* “If you look at the recent stats last week, lowest crime rate, youth crime rate, for 20 years. So what’s that telling us? We’ve got to be doing something really, really well, and the police are the number one crime fighting tool at the coalface in the community.” – Ian Lambie
* “ I think if something is done and it should’ve been done better the public should demand things to be investigated and looked at. They should demand that the same mistake’s not made again. But, yes but, that doesn’t mean that you go oh my goodness, mean the whole system’s wrong we don’t trust them.” Mary-Jane Thomas
* “I think there are some isolated officers in a staff of 12 and a half thousand who act in inappropriate and illegal ways. There is no doubt about that, no one would question that. But I see the vast majority, 99% of the police that I work with and across the country are very, very good citizens.” – Ian Lambie
* “I work at the front line with the officers of South Auckland who are working with the community, not against them. They are forming relationships of trust, of commitment. They are dedicated officers trying to bring those communities around, and that’s very different to the way it was forty/fifty years ago when they worked against them. And actually, you know, if you guys were working on the front line like I am, with them on the streets, then you’d know a different side of the story, and you’re not. Instead you’re working up in some ivory tower or whatever, and you’re not actually at the coalface.” – Ian Lambie
A full transcript of tonight’s debate is available at http://www.3news.co.nz/Transcript-Are-the-police-losing-our-trust/tabid/1789/articleID/316572/Default.aspx
The Vote is produced by TV3’s News and Current Affairs division with funding from NZ On Air, and screens once every four weeks in the same timeslot as 3rd Degree.