Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Apologies again for site inactivity.

Life continues to grind on.
John Dewar found guilty, Taser trial reported a sucess by Police, Police car chase policy under scrutiny etc.....

Police coming to the house at 00.30am on a Thursday morning etc..... looking for a never resident also threats and abuse in the letterbox, never mind.

I reiterate my apology about site inactivity but my cap is elsewhere at the moment.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Site Inactivity

Dear Readers,

Although further escapades of Police activity have been reported by the Mainstream Media, Bob Dewar, Clint taking on the Police, Ministerial rebuttal of Cadet convictions etc...
Policewatch has been busy with other developments.
Commendations goes to South Auckland Policing District in a proactive approach to domestic violence, and that recognition that men are being victim and require support.
Otahuhu Community Policing more than deserve this recognition as a leader in post millenium policing.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

111 Woes Continue

A traumatised home-invasion victim says the 111 system failed around 15 times as he tried to get help after armed intruders burst into his house.

Businessman Arthur Gundy, 62, said he stood in his underwear with duct tape hanging from his wrists, repeatedly trying to get through to police for help.

After 15 calls and 20 minutes, he said he had still not been connected through the 111 automated operator service.

Gundy tried two different phones, called three or four times and looked for the Henderson Police Station in the phone book.

Teleco responded:

What happened here is the problem was in the sound – he could hear them but they could not hear him.
What Mr Gundy thought was an automated voice would have been the 111 operator reading out the options, which was standard procedure.

While the fault would not have affected everyone in the area Telecom were investigating two other situations in Manukau on Thursday and Friday where a similar problem may have occurred.

It does show other people were experiencing similar problems.

If people did have trouble calling then they were advised to call the police, ambulance or fire services directly, rather than via the 111 system.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Policeman escapes assault conviction

A long-serving Rotorua policeman followed a man around the back of a late-night diner and assaulted him, thinking he had raped his daughter.

Senior Constable William Royal broke down in tears as he was discharged without conviction in Rotorua District Court yesterday.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of assaulting a Wellington man outside a popular late-night Rotorua diner on October 22.
He was waiting to be collected by his daughter in her car when he heard a commotion outside in the takeaway area of the diner.
When he went outside he saw the complainant, a Wellington man visiting Rotorua, on the ground surrounded by a group of men. There had been a fight.
Mr Royal asked what had happened and was told by his son, Willie Royal junior, that the man had raped Mr Royal's daughter.

Staff took the complainant, who had suffered minor injuries, around to the back of the diner. The complainant told police Mr Royal followed him to the back of the premises and punched and kicked him several times around the body.

The daughter was not raped.

As a senior policeman with vast experience he should have let the law take its own course. Judge Thomas said the offending was of the lowest level and Mr Royal was entitled to keep his unblemished police record clear.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Chinese policing and DIY Statements?

A confused, mistake-ridden witness statement taken by a new Christchurch constable has raised fears over its reliability in court.
The statement, taken by a Chinese officer who joined the force this year, contains mistakes and confusing sentences, causing a woman to question whether she can properly defend herself.
The woman faces an assault charge, but she and her former husband, who signed the statement, say it has inaccuracies because of the constable's confusion over some words.
The statement included several spelling and grammatical errors.
In part it read: "Then she went up straightly and was very aggressive. She tell K... get your ... ass out of my coatch. I stood up and cut it out. H... started slashing me. I got long arm. She's just playing up."
Later, the man is quoted as saying: "My nose was bleeding and sour."
The statement has alarmed both parties, who felt they were not accurately represented, and lawyers said it could cause problems in a court hearing.
The Christchurch case comes as police consider formal pre-employment programmes for recruits from ethnic minorities who do not have English as a first language.
The programmes could also be used for would-be recruits who have problems with reading, writing and other basic skills as police battle for staff in an increasingly tight labour market.
The Christchurch complainant, who cannot be named because the matter is before the courts, said he had been misquoted by the officer, in particular over saying he had been slashed. He told the officer he had been scratched.
He said he "gave up and signed it" after the officer took over an hour and a half to take down the 30-line statement.
The man said the interview became an "ordeal" when he could not make himself and his clarifications understood.
He stopped giving some information when the officer "just didn't get it" and signed the statement just to end the painful process.
The constable was with a more senior officer, who appeared to be "babysitting" him, but the officer took his statement alone, the man said.
The woman said that when she obtained the statement as part of her pending court case, she realised how inadequate the officer's understanding of the situation was.
"He couldn't get what was going on and the statement reflects that. How can I defend myself when I can't even understand what I am being charged with," she said.
"The defence could say they didn't know what they had to defend. The whole thing could turn into a fiasco."

Barrister Gerald Lascelles said he had not seen a case dismissed due to poor police reporting, but "the police force is changing".

Both questioned whether he should have been allowed to graduate from police college.
Police national manager of human resources Wayne Annan said new Asian officers received extra language lessons and were supervised, as any new constable would be.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said he had heard the officer was an exceptional policeman.
"Clearly, people who have English as a second language do have added difficulties, but this is more than compensated for by the huge advantage of having someone who can speak another language," O'Connor said.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Police and Smacking, let the games begin

New police guidelines for handling complaints about smacking children are unnecessarily restrictive and remove officers' discretion.
Police Association president Greg O'Connor said the guidelines defeated the purpose of an amendment meant to allow police discretion when applying the law, which came into force on Friday.

He said they seemed to have been drafted without consulting frontline supervisors.

"Police work on complaints. Police will not be out patrolling children's playgrounds looking for people smacking their children. It will be when it is brought to police attention that something will be done."
Mr O'Connor said that once a complaint was made, the standard would be the same as for reporting family violence - zero tolerance.
"And it must be reported. And unfortunately, as a result of these guidelines, there is very little discretion. We think the guidelines could have been a little more broad."

The guidelines released by police say people can smack children to prevent or minimise harm to a child but not to punish or correct it.
Parents who do so and who are involved in repetitive smacking incidents may also have their actions recorded by police even if they are not charged, the guidelines say.
Police can use their discretion not to charge if actions are deemed "inconsequential" - but exactly what that means is undefined.
Mr O'Connor said "We believe that they are unnecessarily conservative and restrictive. Any action that is corrective is clearly an offence. We believe there should have been discretion there as to whether that was inconsequential, but it's quite clear in the guidelines that smacking them after they've crossed the road by way of correction or punishment is going to require intervention and prosecution."

Do As I Say, Not As I Do - 250 Police Speedsters

Police officers were caught 685 times by speed cameras last year but 435 tickets were waived because they were on their way to emergencies, leaving 250 for accountability.

National Party's police spokesman, Chester Borrows, said officers were expected to abide by the law in the same way as the public, and their Speed Kills campaign should be backed by their own actions.

Further black marks for police recruits

Fresh details have emerged of problems with police recruits following a damning internal report raising concerns about dangerously low training standards.
Information shows 64 charges have been laid against recruits in the past two years, ranging in seriousness from criminal to unprofessional.

It follows the release of a report that Police National Headquarters tried to keep secret - revealing the concerns of senior police college trainer and psychologist Senior Sergeant Iain Saunders.
Some recruits took three attempts to pass the entrance test. One had to be taught "how to write letters of the alphabet by drawing within bubble letters in the same style as a 5-year-old".

Information released under the Official Information Act reveals police investigated more than 60 allegations of misconduct against recruits at the police college in the past year.
Charges include assaults against fellow recruits and police officers, attempted burglary, academic dishonesty, bullying, exhibiting offensive material, fraud and failing to pay a taxi fare.
Police refused to reveal any more detail about the infringements because it might identify the recruits.

National's Chester Borrows described the report as "amazing".
He regarded the allegations against recruits as "worrying".
Police Minister Annette King has said it is not her job to screen recruits.
"It's just disgusting that she would try to slide out of responsibility for the standards of recruiting if she is the minister," Borrows said.

NZ First police spokesman Ron Mark said he had been aware "for years" that there were concerns within the police about lowering standards.
"I have heard anecdotal evidence from various officers... They were taking on recruits who didn't meet the standards required. I have heard of communication skills so poor that evidence had to be retaken by other officers. That's crucial."

Police recruit standards plummet

Public safety is at risk as the standard of police recruits plummets, a damning secret internal report reveals.
Police chiefs have been accused of "turning a blind eye" to the consequences.
Many criminals and members of the public would be able to outsmart some officers.
The public are probably being placed at risk or offered very poor service.

A report reveals that Royal New Zealand Police College trainers are increasingly having to warn managers that "poor performers" have graduated and been posted to their area.
Police national headquarters had publicly lauded the number and quality of new recruits - but the information used was "inaccurate, misleading and poorly interpreted", warns the report, which was prepared late last year.
Police risked "significant embarrassment" if the actual details were made public.
Police national headquarters did not want the public to see these findings.

Allowing low-intelligence recruits to graduate as officers had flow-on consequences for police - including decisions they would make in incidents such as high-speed vehicle pursuits, and when to use force, such as a 50,000 volt Taser.

Police Minister Annette King said it was not her job to screen recruits.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Officers Facing Charges

New figures show more than a dozen serving officers are facing criminal charges ranging from rape of a minor to wounding with intent.

The Office of the Commissioner is playing down the number and seriousness of the charges.

Police refused to name those facing criminal charges, but did confirm the 14 sworn officers held the rank of either constable or sergeant, and that they were from the Auckland, Waitemata, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Tasman and Canterbury police districts.
The charges they face include: male assaults female, injuring with intent, common assault, excess breath alcohol, theft, careless driving, making a false statement, assault with a weapon, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, male rapes female, and male rapes female (aged between 12 and 16).

Some of the charges carry maximum prison terms of 14 years or more.

Police national manager for professional standards Stu Wildon would not say how many of those sworn officers had been stood down, suspended, or were on full or restricted duties.