Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Police Ten 7 State

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  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Is this police "contract" a new thing?

    Ask them and find out.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    Unclear from the Herald article exactly what he requested, suspect it was “personal information” held about him by Police. This wouldn’t be covered by OIA, but the Privacy Act instead.

    Presumably it wasn’t a simple request for his own criminal record because he would know that already.

    As best I can piece it together, he sought information for the purposes of research and was then informed that he's blacklisted/banned/whatever. At that point he requested a copy of his record to try and figure out the reason for the refusal, since the refusal was sheeted home to his allegedly-questionable associations.

    According to a legal opinion he cites, the original information requested should have been available to anyone who submitted the appropriate request under the auspices of the OIA. The information originally requested was not his criminal record.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    For better or worse, they are a power apart from all the rest of the citizens of this country.

    But they are still civilians by definition and they work for us, we is the boss eh.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    They may not be an "elite military unit", but they are uniformed officers of the Crown, sworn and empowered to enforce the law, including using deadly force if necessary. They are not Joe or Josephine Public, and pretending that they are just like you is supremely naive. For better or worse, they are a power apart from all the rest of the citizens of this country.

    Which is a problem, because one of the core Peelian Principles is that "the police are the public and that the public are the police". And this is vital for maintaining public cooperation and policing by consent - vital to maintaining their ability to do their job.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    But they are still civilians by definition

    By whose definition? The definitions of civilian I can find all include both police and military personnel as the exceptional class, and many also include fire fighters. Even the International Committee of the Red Cross, promulgators of the laws of armed conflict, bundle police and military together into what they call “arms carriers”.

    ETA: NZ Fire Service personnel, by popular intra-service choice, refer to “members of the public” when discussing non-uniformed members of society. A suggestion that the nomenclature be revised, with “clients” or “customers” as possibilities, was widely derided and thus dropped. Uniformed protectors of society at large see themselves as groups apart, and the police are far from alone.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    “the police are the public and that the public are the police”

    Yes.
    And this, from the British Home Office... regarding surveillance

    Surveillance by consent should be regarded as analogous to policing by consent. In the
    British model of policing, police officers are citizens in uniform. They exercise their powers
    to police their fellow citizens with the implicit consent of their fellow citizens. Policing by
    consent is the phrase used to describe this. It denotes that the legitimacy of policing in
    the eyes of the public is based upon a general consensus of support that follows from
    transparency about their powers, demonstrating integrity in exercising those powers and
    their accountability for doing so.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    police officers are citizens in uniform. They exercise their powers
    to police their fellow citizens with the implicit consent of their fellow citizens

    Citizens. Every time, citizens. Not civilians. Massive difference.
    As a principle it is sound, but it is very definitely not what you have been arguing.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Adam Gifford, in reply to HORansome,

    "started in the last term of the last Labour Government". You jest. I've been using the OIA a lot longer than that and it's been gamed since day 1.

    Auckland • Since May 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    Jarrod notes in the original article

    Criticising public bodies is an important part of my job - the Education Act defines one of my duties as being a "critic and conscience".

    In this column and on my blog I have held to account the Police Commissioner (for saying a cop who planted a shell casing to get a conviction had "integrity beyond reproach"); the former Minister of Justice (for defending illegal police behaviour that led to the collapse of an undercover operation); and the former Minister of Police (for using wildly inaccurate gang data). None of these calls were popular for those concerned, but few would argue that they weren't important.

    over at:
    Dr Jarrod Gilbert: The police have deemed me unfit to undertake crime research because I know criminals

    Which is something I'd guess the present government has a beef with.

    Surely the intention of the "rules" whatever they are should not be to stifle democracy or research. Surely there is a discretion argument that can be made on the grounds of public good?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Traditionally, uniformed servicepeople are subject to military discipline – they’ve signed up for their term of service and don’t have the right of other employees to tell their boss to stuff it and walk out the door. (Although I think most NZ troops can give notice nowadays?)

    Police (and firemen, security guards and spies) are not subject to these strictures – they can leave at any time and the worst that can happen to them for disobeying orders is the sack. That makes them civilians.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Just adding my +1 on Jarrod's side. This is an appalling abuse of power in a supposedly democratic country. Coming after the Hager raid and the Stephenson case, too. What the hell is next?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The official Police statement released in the past hour. Incredible.

    Police statement on academic research applications
    Wednesday, 25 November 2015 - 1:40pm
    National News
    Statement – attribute to Mark Evans, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy.

    Police places a high value in academic research which provides evidence to improve Police policy and practice. It is essential that our policing strategies and tactics are effective and focused. Having an evidence-based approach towards policing enables us to understand ‘what works’ best, and then put that into practice. Police has strong links with academic institutions and individual researchers who are involved in a range of research to encourage debate on various aspects of police work.

    Police receives a large number of individual requests for academic research – 37 applications in 2014. While Police already publishes large volumes of data, such research requests often involve access to confidential information, which can include personal identifiers. There can also be a substantial resourcing commitment involved in providing such information.

    To ensure appropriate decisions are made about such applications there is a robust process in place to ensure that they have benefits for Police, are of good standard, meet our privacy obligations and are feasible in relation to the demands on Police time and resources. This process includes a Police vetting check on individuals involved in a research application.

    The research agreement which academics are expected to sign with Police sets out our expectations, including that research is accurate, balanced and constructive. Police reserves the right to discuss research findings with the academic if it misunderstands or misrepresents police data and information. Police also reserves the right to prevent further access to Police resources if a researcher commits any breach of the agreement.

    Our priority is always to ensure that an appropriate balance is drawn between the privacy of individuals and academic freedom. To date Police have not prevented access by any academic under this clause in the agreement.

    While we will not discuss specific matters regarding Dr Gilbert, we can say that we have communicated to him that further consideration will be given to our decision regarding the security clearance (police vetting) check.

    END

    So the Police have asserted their right to (a) stand in judgement of academic research, (b) only allow research that suits them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Police reserves the right to discuss research findings with the academic if it misunderstands or misrepresents police data and information.

    This sentence in particular seems very menacing. An academic is not an expert researcher and analyst, not even a person!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Lilith __,

    Alternatively, the police could be taking about themselves. I imagine they misunderstand and misrepresent police data all the time.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Felix_felix,

    " To date Police have not prevented access by any academic under this clause in the agreement."

    Except for this one time? Or was the limitation of access for Dr Gilbert from a different clause?

    Welly • Since Nov 2012 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Can you ask Mark Evans to send me some olives when he gets all the way to Spain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This process includes a Police vetting check on individuals involved in a research application.

    Why?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Can you ask Mark Evans to send me some olives when he gets all the way to Spain.

    He will never pass through the core so don't be getting your hopes up there.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    That makes them civilians.

    Amusing definitional debate that will never end. Like "terrorist". Control the language, control the thought!! We've always been at war with gangs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    Having an evidence-based approach towards policing enables us to understand ‘what works’ best, and then put that into practice

    That phrase and various others in the press release look like subjective opinions e.g.

    research is accurate, balanced and constructive. Police reserves the right to discuss research findings with the academic if it misunderstands or misrepresents police data and information.

    Subjective and discretionary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    To ensure appropriate decisions are made about such applications there is a robust process in place to ensure that they have benefits for P̶o̶l̶i̶c̶e̶

    …society?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz,

    If they were to stick to this literally, it would be less of an issue. Of course every sponsor of research likes to mine the data and findings for their own purpose. I would also agree that if someone breaches an agreement you shouldn't be obliged to deal with them again.

    However, the juxtaposition of those statements seems to imply that by writing something that Police think is a misrepresentation or misunderstanding (not that it actually needs to be), they will not allow you access to data in the future.

    This researcher/ former academic believes Police should put the spade down.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    This process includes a Police vetting check on individuals involved in a research application.

    Why?

    Presumably because of all that "NZ Police Privileged Information" they'll be accessing. Like localised crime statistics, or interviews with police officers. You know, sensitive stuff.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    This researcher/ former academic believes Police should put the spade down.

    If it wasn't so important to get it right this would be a popcorn moment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Lumley, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    In my experience, it is not standard boilerplate. Having the right to see the reports in advance is reasonably standard, though not uncontroversial. Veto power over publication is not.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2013 • 43 posts Report Reply

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