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A Policeman’s Paradise - Stable Society 1918-1945

MEDIA RELEASE

A POLICEMAN’S PARADISE - POLICING A STABLE SOCIETY 1918-1945

14.12.99

The fourth volume in a five part history of policing in New Zealand was launched today by the Historical Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs in association with Dunmore Press and the New Zealand Police.

A Policeman’s Paradise - Policing a Stable Society 1918-1945 by Canterbury University lecturer, Graeme Dunstall traces changes in policing and New Zealand society from the 1918 influenza epidemic to the end of the Second World War.

‘New Zealand was a remarkably peaceful society during this period despite a lot of social change which the police were not always able to keep up with. Increasingly their methods were perceived as conservative and old fashioned,’ Mr Dunstall said.

A Policeman’s Paradise - Policing a Stable Society 1918-1945 discusses important developments in police practice, the appointment of women police, the introduction of a 48 hour week, the organisation of an association for officers, and the assumption of responsibility for political surveillance.

During the book’s long gestation period Mr Dunstall had wide access to hitherto restricted records including internal security files.

‘The basic mandate for the police was to control public disorder and prevent crime. They saw internal surveillance in this light They also regarded themselves as the Cinderella department, although in the eyes of successive governments the Police Force was an expensive necessity.

A Policeman’s Paradise - Policing a Stable Society 1918-1945 is part of a series on the history of the New Zealand Police. Graeme Dunstall has worked on the project since it’s inception in the late 1970s although the first three volumes were written by fellow historian Richard Hill. Graeme Dunstall and Wellington historian Susan Butterworth are currently working on the final volume in the series.

A Policeman’s Paradise - Policing a Stable Society 1918-1945 will be launched by Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Judith Tizard at the Grand Hall at Parliament at 5.15pm today, December 14. Representatives of the media are welcome.

For further information contact:
Pamela Fleming, Media Adviser, Department of Internal Affairs DDI 04 495 9436, Fax 04 495 7237, Email: pamela.fleming@dia.govt.nz, Website: www.dia.govt.nz


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