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A broadside at Commissioner Broad

Police Commissioner Howard Broad's comments at the funeral this week of slain police officer Don Wilkinson, leave much to be desired

Media Release:

22nd September 2008

A broadside at Commissioner Broad

Police Commissioner Howard Broad's comments at the funeral this week of slain police officer Don Wilkinson, leave much to be desired says Sensible Sentencing Spokesperson on Drug Issues, Christine Davey.

She cites his comment that “we've gradually built a culture where drugs are seen as a lifestyle choice” as a gross misrepresentation of the actual situation, which is that drugs have been ALLOWED to become a lifestyle choice through completely inadequate implementation of the law.

She also takes issue with his statement that “everyone has a responsibility to help in stopping the drugs culture and more than slogans and rhetoric was needed to combat it.”

Ms Davey notes that this tired rhetoric is trotted out by everyone who has the power to combat it but does nothing, instead placing the responsibility on the families of drug users, who are powerless to stop it happening.

She asks: “What does it say of the Police's commitment to this issue when the only advice a Senior Police Officer could offer a mother begging for help to intervene in her son's drug use, was that she should have her story published in the NZ Women's Weekly?

Similarly, what does it say of the Police's commitment to this issue when another mother who went to the Police about her son's marijuana habit was told “he's only experimenting. If he's working don't worry about it.”

When asking the Police for advice and support in stopping this same boy's drinking habit, the mother was told “If you don't like your son drinking underage then kick him out of home. He is 17 and can get a youth allowance.”

Still desperately seeking help to intervene, this mother was reassured by a Politician that "Lots of professional people use cannabis socially to relax",

Ms Davey suggests to Commissioner Broad that NZ's young men flaunt their drug use, knowing that the Police don't care. The Police will only become involved when these substance abusers eventually hurt other people. By that time relationships and lives have been irreparably damaged.

Yes we have a problem with youth and drugs. Yes we need more than slogans and rhetoric to combat it.

NEWS FLASH: We actually have laws which make using marijuana and P illegal. What we need is for the Police to implement those laws!!!

You don't have to throw our kids in jail in the first instance – but you do have to show them that you're serious when advising them to stop.

In the absence of that kind of assistance, Ms Davey would like to know exactly what it is that Commissioner Broad would like parents, families and the community to do in order to combat the proliferation of drug use?

We're all ears.


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