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Maori Wardens in Police Prescription?

Maori Wardens in Police Prescription?

Heather Roy Thursday, 20 October 2005

Press Releases - Crime & Justice

ACT National Security spokesman Heather Roy has today given the incoming Minister of Police some suggestions for helping police cope until the thousand new officers promised under Labour's supply and confidence agreement with New Zealand First can be recruited and trained.

"When interviewed about her new role, Annette King said it was going to be a challenge to find another thousand police. Ms King said that any suggestions would be welcome - so here are several", Mrs Roy said.

"Some creative thinking and looking to programmes that already exist could provide quick results. For example, Special Constables can be appointed under Section 192 of the Summary Proceedings Act, 1957. They are authorised to protect people with all the powers, duties and responsibilities of a constable, and the law allows for them to be paid for the work they do. Special Constables could be used to fill the critical gaps in our police force now.

"Maori Wardens also do valuable work, assisting police in Maori communities, and are largely unrecognised. They too could have their roles extended to deal with law-breakers.

"We could look a little further afield, at some of the excellent international examples. In Tasmania, experienced police officers can be retained in the service part-time - a far better solution than losing them altogether. This policy helps both the police organisation, and the people they protect.

"The Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program, sunning since 1992, places heavy emphasis on community-based policing. By making officers familiar to their communities, CAPS is helping to both prevent and solve crime.

"Ultimately, individuals should be responsible for taking care of themselves and their neighbours. Government has a role in empowering communities to take responsibility, and until they do, no number of police will be the solution.

"Given that the Minister was asking for constructive suggestions, I hope she will take these in the spirit in which they're intended" Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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