November 30, 2015
Bush admits police bias
Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted police are biased against Maori, but he won’t call it racism.
Mr Bush told Lisa Owen on TV3’s The Nation that he has taken action at the executive level to counter an unconscious bias which contributes to disproportionate numbers of Maori being apprehended and prosecuted.
He says the bias has come to light in data collected on when police use their discretion with offenders.
Labour MP Kelvin Davis says the commissioner is confirming what Maori already kew.
He says not just Mr Bush but the Minister for Police needs to make sure everything possible is done to end racial bias in the police force.
Mr Davis says a fair and unbiased police force is a vital part of the justice system.
Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy congratulated police leadership for acknowledging unconscious bias.
She says the high levels of Maori in the criminal justice system is something police have been working on with iwi for a while with the Turning the Tide strategy, which has won praise from United Nations.
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