September 14, 2017
Flying squad plan disaster for Maori
A justice policy analyst says New Zealand First’s proposal for a police flying squad has been tried before, and it was a disaster, especially for Maori and Pacific communities.
Party leader Winston Peters is proposing an elite unit under the Police Commissioner to help communities suffering from crime waves like burglaries and violence.
Kim Workman, adjunct research associate at Victoria University's Institute of Criminology in Wellington, says mobile task forces were set up in the main centres in the late 1960s.
As a police constable in Masterton at the time he remembers the Wellington Task Force coming over the hill and creating mayhem, with three complaints about police behaviour, including a serious assault.
He says it took months to regain public trust.
The situation was even worse in Auckland, where in 1974 the Maori and Pacific community established an unofficial tribunal which asked why the task force was arresting Maori and Pacific Islanders in disproportionate numbers.
Mr Workman says it's not the job of political parties to determine police operational policy.
Copyright © 2017, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com