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Police jobs no easy rider

Chester Borrows MP
National Party Police Spokesman

20 December 2006

Police jobs no easy rider

National’s Police spokesman, Chester Borrows, is questioning whether the ‘Better Work Stories’ that are being used to attract new police recruits through the Internet sends the right messages about the nature of police work.

“One of these ‘work stories’ involves five Christchurch officers who ride BMW patrol motorcycles from Wellington to Invercargill and back via the West Coast, in what is described as a ‘two week paid motorcycle tour of the South Island’.

“Perks like this didn’t figure large during my time in the police,” says Mr Borrows, a policeman of 24 years who reached the rank of Detective Sergeant.

“The Government needs to be responsible with the messages it sends to potential recruits about the realities of police work.”

He is also drawing attention to the fact that four of the stories centre on officers who got lucky when:

* A fleeing offender jumped into the back of an unmarked police car by mistake.

* Cannabis plants fell through the ceiling of a house that was being visited for a domestic incident.

* An officer at a scene investigation the day after a burglary saw the offender picking up the stolen goods he had stashed in nearby bushes.

* An officer out for a run caught a robber who was running from a shop.

“Potential recruits need to know that these kind of things don’t happen every day.

“The work is hard, and the rewards generally come as a result of that hard work.

“As District Commander Viv Rickard said recently, despite the perception from popular culture that police ‘make a bust, kiss the girl and come back to no paperwork … That doesn’t happen’.

“A career with the police has to be seen as a vocation, rather than just another job,” says Mr Borrows.


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