December 18, 2013
Alternate strategies keep Maori from crime treadmill
While some police forces aim for zero tolerance, New Zealand police are finding flexibility works better.
Wally Haumaha, the police national manager for Maori, Pacific and ethnic services, says his office is trying to move more Maori out of the criminal justice system.
That means working with iwi and community groups to find alternate options to arresting and prosecuting people for relatively minor crimes.
He says the weekly community panels at Waiwhetu Marae in the Hut Valley where kaumatua dispense justice and try to address the cause of the offending is the sort of model he wants to replicate around the country, particularly in areas where there are significant levels of Maori crime.
"If we look at apprehension stats for Maori in Northland, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Eastern District, Central District, it still warrants us not taking our foot off the throttle but continuing the think what’s hurting these families, how do we address the issues of the horrific abuse around our children and women, family violence is still huge," Superintendant Haumaha says.
Crime statistics are at a historic low.
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