August 28, 2018
Hands on policing addressing crime at source
A long serving Māori police officer is embracing cultural change that calls for consideration of the wider situation facing offenders.
Sergeant Stephen Māriu is on his way to Nelson for an iwi liaison role after 30 years in south Auckland.
He says doing a te reo Māori course late in life changed his perspective from being a hard nosed beat cop to one looking for ways to prevent crime.
That means looking for reasons behind the offending.
"If I can find them a job, get them a restricted licence so they can drive legitimately and legally, help them by supporting them down at WINZ, standing in the queue with them, putting them through that business if they haven't got a job … crimes are committed by a lot of our people through need and sometimes all they need is that gentle hove towards a job," Mr Māriu says.
He says many Māori, church and community groups run programmes that can benefit would-be offenders and help them turn their lives around.
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