The outpouring of outrage from the population at large yesterday over the race based policy of not ticketing certain drivers because of their assumed race has resulted in the Police Minister backtracking today. Whaleoil asks why the Police Minister isn’t stopping other racist policies being administered by the police.
POLICE MINISTER PULLS PLUG ON ONE RACIST POLICY. WHAT ABOUT THE REST?
Been a bit of a tough day in Police Minister Michael Woodhouse’s office yesterday. To say he’s been forcibly put into the stocks and having to take a huge backlash on the chin would be an understatement.
Police Minister Michael Woodhouse has halted a south Auckland policing policy that appeared to favour unlicensed Maori drivers.
They’ve been allowed to avoid $400 fines if they agree to undergo training and attend support programmes.
Those that didn’t comply within two months were ticketed and fined.
The policy was revealed by One News last night, and today NZ First MP Ron Mark asked questions in Parliament.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said earlier today that the policy document could have been worded better and would change, but suggestions Maori in Counties Manukau were getting preferential treatment were misleading.
“Why have police commanders in Counties Manukau issued instructions that all Maori drivers detected driving without licences should not be ticketed?” he asked Mr Woodhouse.
The minister said police were able to exercise discretion over transport offences.
“But I do not condone any policy that has the effect, or the appearance, of treating one group of people differently from another,” he said.
I suspect this won’t be the end of it. At the root of this racist policy is the intent to reduce Maori offending statistics altogether, not just for driving offences.
Some police have been running a system called conditional pre-charge warnings.
It applies to Maori who are arrested for an offence punishable by less than two years in prison. That includes theft, assault, wilful damage etc. It is not limited to first time offenders but applies to any of them including the hard core repeat offenders.
So how are they dealt with then? Is that it?
They are referred to a local Iwi or trust where they are dealt with in some way out of the reach of the crime statisticians. Of course, all this is paid for by the tax payer and they never do enter the court system. That helps give the false impression that crime is falling.
I wonder where this policy has come from? And to be honest, since it isn’t just traffic offences, and it is clearly aimed at Maori, yesterday’s assurances that “the appearance” of racist policies has been address doesn’t hold any water.
This is a stinky mess, and instead of putting all the cards on the table, Woodhouse has been trying to cover up for the police commissioner. The real interesting questions include: Did Woodhouse know? When did he know? Who’s idea was this in the first place?