Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nailing Jelly to Trees.

Space view of Christchurch and surrounding areas.Image via Wikipedia
Elevated Police chase statistics and poor outcomes began when we introduced the poorly thought out Boy Racer Bill. This legislation had its roots in Christchurch and Mayor Parker. This is deserving of further thought (before all you red-neck bigots start trashing my letterbox).

An old time British cop, former head of London Metro/Scotland Yard Det Chief Super Eddie Ellison whom I hosted here back in 2004 said "never give an offender nothing left to lose". So what if all they have is their car? Look at what this young man (whose life is pretty much screwed now too) said. The clue is right there. Yes he was speeding. Yes he broke the law. Other people speed and break the law too including, notably several Prime Ministers but we don't take their cars off them. Do we. Get the picture folks...

It just might be the laws specifically targeting this 'age/sex' demographic is at fault and creating the outcomes we wish to avoid.

We have urban dog policy that is counter productive. We have urban drug policy that is counter productive... could it be we have yet again fallen in the same trap? 

Perhaps the most radical idea in today's report on police and anti-social behaviour is the call for a "refocusing on what causes harm in communities, rather than what is or is not a 'crime'".

Instead of police resources being driven by what the criminal justice system regards as serious, we should put the effort into what does most damage to society and our quality of life. So where would that lead us?

The Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Denis O'Connor believes that, too often, "we sanctify anything that happens to be badged by some legislation as a crime" and dismiss incidents and activities which are "a blight on the lives of millions" but are not defined as criminal offences.

Harm comes in different forms: direct harm to the victim; harm to the community; harm to the perpetrator from the criminal justice response; harm to the economy - and on and on.

[Snip ends]

Frankly, we need an open and unprejudiced re-assessment from the ground up, lets look at the chase stats, lets look at the social factors and lets stop bullying young people. A couple driving home from the gym paid a very dear price for us to maintain an intolerance closely resembling stupidity. Now society is going to pay a very dear price to keep this young man in jail. And the outcome will be? 

Mayor Parker (and regrettably his only possible alternative, Anderton) cannot rationally talk about harm minimisation as they are both of a mind they can nail jelly to trees 'if we only try harder'.

 Blair Anderson  ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219

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