Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Rethinking Calls For Review Into Ethnic Bias Within Police

Rethinking Calls For Review Into Ethnic Bias Within Police And Criminal Justice System

“It is no longer sufficient for Police to continue to deny Institutional Bias toward Maori” says Kim Workman, Spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. “The Police should conduct a systematic review into their institutional practise and policy. Better still, the Justice Sector Leadership Board or the Race Relations Commissioner should initiate a sector wide review.”

He was commenting on the Minister of Police’s response to a question in the House, in which the she strongly disagreed that Māori are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system because of institutional bias. She said that people are prosecuted because they have committed a crime.

“The Minister has missed the point. The Justspeak research showed that when Maori are apprehended for a crime, the Police are more likely to prosecute the offender if they are Maori. One of the better know pieces of research into this issue, was that carried out by the prominent researcher, Professor David Fergusson in 2003. A study of cannabis users in Christchurch found that when the Police caught someone in possession of cannabis, they could exercise discretion about whether or not to prosecute the offender. Maori users were three times more likely to be prosecuted than non-Maori users.”

“There have been at least 15 pieces of research into this issue since 1998, all pointing toward ethnic bias within the Police and the wider criminal justice system. In the face of that kind of evidence, it is no longer possible to publicly deny that it exists, without first carrying out a full investigation into institutional policies and practises within the criminal justice system.”

“Areas of investigation for the Police might include ethnic profiling, traffic stop procedures, offender eligibility for diversion and pre-charge warnings, Police opposition to bail, and judicial decisions to remand offenders in custody. Research may well establish that if there is an institutional bias, it is less to do with personal racism, and more to do with institutional policies and practises which disadvantage Maori.”

“In its recent report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the government highlighted a range of programmes and achievements which demonstrated a high level of cultural responsiveness to Māori, but ignored the Committee’s earlier request to report on the level of structural discrimination within the criminal justice system. We acknowledge the efforts made by the Police and others to develop positive relationships with Maori. The issue of structural discrimination however, is a separate issue which for over 30 years has been the “elephant in the room”.

“Now is the time to act on the evidence. A sector wide investigation is called for.”

Kim Workman
Rethinking Crime and Punishment

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shewan Inquiry Into Our Tax Haven Rules

Like the political equivalent of lithium, Prime Minister John Key is routinely administered to dull any politically dangerous mood swings amidst the general public... More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news