Police association front page news https://www.policeassn.org.nz/ Thu, 12 Apr 2018 09:21:16 +1200 Thu, 12 Apr 2018 09:21:16 +1200 Police News April 2018 https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/police-news/police-news-april-2018 In this issue: Mixed reactions to culture shift at Police College; policing taonga sold; the work of the Christchurch Offender Prevention Team; inside the new Justice Precinct; and a former cop recalls the Wahine tragedy 50 years on. Read articles: President's Column: Achieving a positive organisational culture Changing of the Guard: Culture shift at the Police College Controversy follows sale of policing 'taonga' Christchurch OPT at the pointy end of prevention 'That horrific day': Wahine tragedy 50 years on Built to serve: A tour of the new Justice Precinct It's all about balance: Association appoints Diversity Governance Group Police News (Magazine) Fri, 06 Apr 2018 12:48:40 +1200 Police association front page news President's Column: Achieving a positive organisational culture https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/presidents-column/presidents-column-achieving-positive-organisational-culture In my role, I am privileged to hear first-hand about policing right through the ranks, and Police, like many contemporary organisations, is talking about culture. Culture is what defines an organisation, for those within it and for those it interacts with externally. For culture to be positive, it must be reinforced through actions from the top, and not left to feel-good rhetoric and glossy posters to walk that talk. Police has adopted the “culture philosophy” and taken to heart the 2007 Commission of Inquiry’s recommendation for strong, well-defined and widely understood values to be part of its business model, appointments process and performance management. The legitimacy of Police culture can, however, be undermined when theory and practice do not align, as can happen when values are applied from a limited perspective that fails to respect the interpretation of others. A variety of approaches can be taken to tackle any problem. It is inappropriate to question someone’s professionalism simply because you don’t agree with an individual’s approach. Multiple approaches can still be professional. You can’t promote diversity of style and initiative and then whack it down under the guise of not meeting Police values. I am increasingly concerned by examples where different opinions are not only discouraged, but actively chastised for deviating from the “party line”. It appears that some diversity of thought is being deliberately stifled within Police, with Police then referencing values as a justification for this emerging practice. Accusing individuals with different points of view of not acting professionally or with integrity is not compatible with a successful organisational culture. As a strongly opinionated person who is not afraid to speak out, I have learnt, albeit by sometimes making mistakes, that you can maintain professionalism by choosing when and how to express your opinion. Any organisation that practises a culture where freedom of expression and diversity of views are not respected or encouraged will suffer long-term consequences. Police has adopted the Police High Performance Framework (PHPF), a key plank of which is to encourage people to bring their individual approach to their respective roles. As you will read in this issue of Police News, the PHPF is alive and well at the Police College with its increased “emphasis on values-based behaviour, problem solving and personal responsibility”. Police is talking about upskilling an individual recruit’s perspective so they can apply their particular skills to real-world policing in the districts they are assigned to. However, we are seeing too many examples where the talk just doesn’t align with the walk. It is not a healthy culture when individuals who offer a different opinion are disrespected, silenced or actively encouraged to look outside Police for their future. This points to a failure in the organisation’s cultural practice and seems to be diversity of a kind that is strictly on management’s terms… which is not really diversity at all. President's Columns Thu, 29 Mar 2018 10:34:33 +1200 Police association front page news 'That horrific day' https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/horrific-day Former police officer Ian Blackie was an 18-year-old cadet on April 10, 1968, when he and other trainee policemen were sent to help in the Wahine rescue effort. The Wahine sinking in Wellington Harbour. Photo: ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY. Ref: EP/1968/1648a/1a-F /records/22843727 This month, Police and other agencies will mark the 50th anniversary of the sinking of the Wahine passenger ship at the entrance to Wellington Harbour on April 10, 1968. It will be an emotional day as the Police launch Lady Elizabeth III leads a flotilla of up to 50 boats along the harbour front, each boat dropping 53 flower petals into the water to represent the lives lost in the tragedy. They will be watched by up to 300 family members, including survivors, the governor-general, prime minister, police commissioner, the Wellington mayor and members of the public. Half a world away in Vancouver, Canada, Kiwi expat Ian Blackie will be grappling with his own thoughts of “that horrific day” – memories that have stayed with him for five decades and which he wishes he could forget. Ian Blackie as a cadet in 1968 and today.  In 1968 he was an 18-year-old police cadet attending the Police Training School in Trentham, Upper Hutt, as part of the Alphonsus Quin Wing. He recalls the morning well. The rain and the wind were howling outside their classroom windows and they had heard on the radio that the interisland ferry was possibly in trouble as cyclone Giselle bore down on Cook Strait. “At about 10am, our instructors called us together and we were briefed about the situation, and that we might be called out to assist.” Later in the morning, a bus arrived and they were told to go to the barracks and pick up their rain gear. The bus took them to Eastbourne. “I could see the waves in the harbour and I was shocked at the sheer size, 20 to 30 feet high, with a couple of hundred yards in between the peaks. The waves were rolling in south to north, but that was about to change. “We walked through a rickety wooden farmer’s gate onto a farm track in very rough condition just a few yards from the water’s edge. I could see a ship of sorts out in the harbour listing to one side with the waves crashing over the stern. The visibility was very poor. I couldn't see the other side of the harbour or Wellington, and with the wind and rain it obscured anything happening out around the ferry. Police cadets (in berets) from the Alphonsus Quin and Les Spencer wings were sent to Eastbourne to join other police at the beach where survivors were coming ashore and bodies were being recovered. Photo: IAN MCFARLANE, Museum of Wellington City and Sea Collection, ref 2167 “We had very little information and kept plodding to where the Lower Hutt personnel were. The wind had shifted around from the southwest to west by this time and we were feeling the full force. Within an hour we were soaked through, but I don't recall feeling cold. “As we approached the Lower Hutt unit, we saw survivors in the water, just their heads were visible. In the distance we could see rescuers at the water’s edge assisting the survivors, with some bodies washing up on the pebbled beach. “There were two Land Rovers there, an old grey one with a wooden deck on it and a newer police Land Rover. As I walked up, I remember one particular constable who was the shift watch house keeper, Constable Joyce, who I knew from station duty. He was in extreme distress. “He was sitting on a rock and shivering, as he was soaked right through and obviously suffering from exposure. “He did not have his helmet or his raincoat or his tunic, which he may have given to one of the survivors. “The survivors had to walk out along the track, all wearing their life jackets. That was one of the most surreal memories… almost none of the survivors, once on land, discarded the one instrument that had saved them. “It’s been 50 years since that horrific day. There is more, but it is so graphic and visual still in my mind, it’s hard to give a satisfactory account. “Most of the New Zealanders who died were washed up on that barren beach. Most, I saw, were elderly… the strain was obviously too much. “Our members, along with some of the outstanding civilians, loaded the bodies, so respectfully, on to the transport. We were so isolated and short of manpower or help. “It was an honourable day for New Zealand Police and a few civilian helpers, including the farm employees. Everyone that day stepped up to the plate and did their job, as was expected.” Survivors coming ashore at Seatoun, aided by police. Photo: ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY. Ref: 35mm-01157-24-F /records/23018716 Featured Articles Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:44:45 +1200 Police association front page news Changing of the Guard https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/changing-guard A different approach to recruit training is getting a mixed reaction. Ellen Brook reports. Was it the recruit with the man bun that started it all? Or was it the funky outfits appearing in the dining room? Or a pair of unironed overalls? It might even have been the story about the young cop who wondered whether Police could legitimately ask him to search a rubbish dump for evidence. Whatever the triggers were, the stories about what might or might not be happening at the Police College were spreading, from conversations in the corridor to, inevitably, the online milieu of the keyboard warrior. Emails started arrived in the Police News inbox asking if rumours about a lowering of standards for recruits and a lack of discipline at the college could possibly be true. The answer seems to depend on which side of a philosophical or generational divide you are on. The fact is that things have changed at the college. And change, as anyone in Police knows, is the one constant you can rely on. It is true that recruits are allowed to dress more casually in the dining hall and during PT (no more ironed T-shirts, and the blue shorts have been replaced with pants of your choice). They no longer have to parade or do drill practice once a week (that is reserved for graduations). Room inspections are kept to a minimum and recruits can wear their hair pretty much how they like. Discipline is, well, less disciplined – if you’re late for class, for example, you’re more likely to be threatened with a note in the diary than being told to drop to the ground and do 10 push-ups. The imperative to salute senior officers in the college grounds has been scrapped, unless they are visitors. And all recruits and staff are encouraged to call each other by their first names. That last one really rankles with those who have trained and served and become used to the structure and respect of rank. Serving staff attending courses at the college report being stunned by the relaxed environment, so different to when they were there. One of the fears being expressed is that a more casual approach at the college could give recruits a false impression of what’s expected in a section environment, where command and control is vital. Above: Phil Weeks, director of training (left), Inspector Iain Saunders, head of school for initial training (centre) and Superintendent Scott Fraser, general manager training. Phil Weeks, director of training at the college, puts the changes into the “continuous improvement” basket. He and Inspector Iain Saunders (head of school for initial training) and Superintendent Scott Fraser (general manager training) say there are good reasons for the new approach. It began about three years ago with the goal of developing a style of recruit training that better reflected the modern policing environment, they say. The focus is on creating a new breed of officer, equipped for a changing crime landscape and who is able to engage freely with the community – the friendly face of policing. “The world is more complex and the college needed to develop training to match that and what is happening in the districts,” Mr Saunders says. In the old days, he says, it was assumed that officers would learn all they needed from the rule book. “It was a rigid, learning-by-rote environment. But policing was a lot simpler than it is now. We are creating recruits who are fit for purpose, prepared for the complexities of a drug and cybercrime environment, not rote learning.” The trainers say it’s quite obvious to them that the standard of recruits has improved over the years and that those coming through now are incredibly bright people. And along with more diversity in the ranks, thanks to targeted recruitment strategies, there is also more diversity of thought, they say. “Cognitive standards” have been raised, in part because of improved recruitment. The people turning up for their 16 weeks at the college have already been through 12 weeks of preparation study at Unitec, and when they head to district they will have up to five weeks of field training during their probationary period. The college is also channelling the spirit of the Police High Performance Framework strategy, with increased emphasis on values-based behaviour, problem solving and personal responsibility. Since February last year, recruits have been evaluated on a “behaviourally anchored rating scale”, on top of their usual exams, assessing their ability to make good judgments as well as pass practical and academic tests. “We are measuring how they put their knowledge into practice,” Mr Weeks says. And if they fall short on the behaviour scale, they will not be graduating. The trainers say the recruits are being “measured like never before and to a higher standard”, but it may not be in ways that an older generation of cops might recognise. “For example, while they still learn about police powers, the Bill of Rights and criminal law, we don’t teach them about the Immigration Act – they can find out the answers on that for themselves. “The recruits are learning about themselves and their skills.” Marching drills have been dispensed with. “Marching doesn’t happen in the districts and parading is counter to PHPF,” Mr Saunders says, adding that, previously, during the 16 weeks at the college, recruits were spending up to 20 hours on marching and only four on burglary. The new style of training is also tailored to the needs of districts, they say, and there is a huge emphasis on Auckland-based recruits and the requirements of metropolitan districts. And, contrary to what some might think, appearance is critical, they say. The current uniform standards are as outlined in the Police rules. However, the days of short back and sides and “military buns” for women are gone. “They come in as individuals on day one and leave as individuals at the end of their training,” Mr Saunders says. Scott Fraser says the aim is to produce recruits who can talk and engage with people at all levels, who are approachable and know how to handle themselves in all sorts of situations. “There is more focus on community and sharing knowledge.” But are they going to jump when the section sergeant says jump? Sergeants in some districts are reporting that one thing they have definitely noticed about the “new breed” is that they tend to be more opinionated, more questioning of authority and not scared to come forward and make complaints. More alarmingly, there have been anecdotal reports about new officers who have been reluctant to do cordon duty, attend a sudden death or even get out of their patrol car to attend a call-out after using TENR and deciding it was too dangerous. “If they don’t get out the car, who will?” wondered one perplexed sergeant, who says it shouldn’t be the job of districts to “re-correct” these young officers. “They should have been prepared for what to expect at the college.” Whether that’s the result of training in an adult learning environment, with not enough marching, or just what we’ve come to expect from “millennials”, no one is exactly sure. An Auckland officer with 27 years’ experience says he has noticed a distinct lack of “emotional intelligence” and social skills among the new crop of constables, an observation that will no doubt disappoint the college. Others say that while they are not yet convinced about the wisdom of relaxing the college’s quasi-military approach to training, they have been pleasantly surprised with their crop of constables. “They do have a ‘softer’ side to them,” says one sergeant, “which may not be appropriate in every situation, and I thought that might present problems, but they have proved themselves.” Another serving officer acknowledges that there are indeed some exceptional recruits, “but there has been a gradual decline in the standard of appearance at the college and too many NCOs are scared to tell anyone off. Out in the real world, we are supposed to be tidy, which helps us when engaging with the public, particularly older people.” Mr Fraser is clear that when faced with critical incidents, their recruits are street ready. “We are training them for the real world. If they are faced with critical incidents, they are ready to make good decisions and to support their supervisors.” Mr Fraser says he has been told by a sergeant from Counties Manukau that the recruits arriving in the past two years are the best he has ever worked with. “We have had a phenomenal response from sergeants who have been impressed with the recruits we are turning out.” With 4000 recruits going through in the next four years, there has never been more demand on the college. What is worrying some observers with long memories is that the college has been though a similar cycle before. In the late 1990s, the administration introduced a more relaxed, campus-style regime, complete with university papers, in an attempt to create degree qualifications and introduce an element of professionalisation. It was an experiment that didn’t stand the test of time (although the university exams were retained until around 2010) and was swept away in the early 2000s by another new broom, with less emphasis on “tree-hugging” and more focus on pride in the uniform, a strong operational focus, attention to street skills – and marching. And now, the guard is changing again and the full effect of that may not be clear for several years. “We are working our way towards a perfect storm with the numbers of recruits going through at the moment,” one anxious sergeant told Police News. Another goes further: “The whole idea seems to be that we are all one and all equal, which flies in the face of command and control. It’s a lab and the recruits are the lab rats.” Photos: Top - Jane Dunn, Wellington Police; others - NZPA. Featured Articles Fri, 06 Apr 2018 16:29:08 +1200 Police association front page news Built to serve https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/built-serve It’s big and beautiful, which isn’t something we usually hear about police stations. The newly opened Justice Precinct in Christchurch appears to be full, not only of police (and other justice-related groups), but also of potential. It cost $300 million and was dogged with delays, but the 42,000-square-metre mega justice centre is finally open. The precinct is owned by the Ministry of Justice and also houses Corrections, the courts and the headquarters of the Fire Service, St John and Civil Defence. There’s a large courtyard in the centre, open to the public, with water features and places to sit. Police is the largest tenant, with 800 staff housed over five floors, encompassing Canterbury District HQ, Christchurch Central Police Station, South Comms and the District Command Centre. Staff settling in before the opening last month (Photo: STUFF). No doubt everyone working or visiting the building will be comforted to know that it has 133 base isolators (pictured left), designed to keep the precinct standing in a big shake, and that the emergency operations centre can function for 72 hours off the grid with enough food and water to last for three days. The precinct is divided into three buildings connected by a series of “air bridges”, enabling easy access and encouraging collaboration between agencies. On a smaller scale, Police staff are having to get used to some new ways of working, including hot desking, or, as it’s now called, activity-based working, big open-plan office spaces and “riser” desks, albeit with a multitude of conversation areas and meeting rooms and breakout spaces if privacy or silence is needed. The idea, says Sergeant Jon Harris, one of the project team overseeing the transition to the new station, is that you can sit where you want, with a variety of configurations of desks and furniture, moving your tablet from desk to desk, desk to table, table to chair, or heading to a private room. The open plan offices feature "activity-based working" desks and conversation areas, and there are several cafes in the precinct. There are several pluses for Police staff: • Quick access to the undercover car parks via air bridges – one road policing officer said it took him only a few minutes to get into his patrol car and be on the road. • Quick access to the courts – staff can wait in their own offices until they are needed. • Every frontline officer has their own full-length locker (at last, somewhere to comfortably store the SRBA and other clothing and equipment). • A range of cafes, and kitchen areas on each level. • Smart doors that set off alarms if they are left open. • A front counter that incorporates the latest safety features. • Easy access to evidence and exhibit storage rooms via laneways from the vehicle bays (reducing the risk of items being stored in inappropriate places overnight). • Within the open-plan offices, staff work in related “neighbourhoods” – eg, adult sexual assault, metro crime and the investigation support unit are based near each other. • A special ops room for big cases. • A state-of-the-art custody suite – the mothership of the station – that is shared with Corrections. The state-of-the-art custody suite, which Police shares with Corrections, has 500 cameras, cells with variable opaque/clear windows, and a secure elevator up to the courtrooms. On the negative side, there have been issues with the waste water system and radios not working properly in some areas. Jon says Police ICT is installing another transmitter to remedy the problem of radio blind spots. As for the waste water issue, he says that was an isolated incident in the courts building and was fixed some time ago. One of the covered car parks for Police vehicles; and the centre courtyard. Featured Articles Thu, 12 Apr 2018 09:21:16 +1200 Police association front page news Controversy follows sale of policing 'taonga' https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/controversy-follows-sale-policing-taonga The overseas sale of a unique medal awarded posthumously to Aramoana massacre hero Sergeant Stewart Guthrie has raised eyebrows in policing circles around New Zealand. Guthrie was awarded the George Cross for bravery after he was shot dead on November 13, 1990, by gunman David Gray, who killed 12 others the same day at the seaside settlement near Dunedin. The medal is the second-highest Commonwealth award (after the Victoria Cross), given for conspicuous gallantry “not in the face of the enemy”, and the highest that can be awarded to a civilian. It recognised Guthrie’s courage and heroism on the day. Two other George Crosses have been awarded in New Zealand, but both to military personnel and both still in the country, one housed at the Waiouru Army Museum and the other held by the family of the recipient. That makes the Guthrie medal one of a kind. Until last year, the medal was held by his widow. When she died, the award passed to their children, who made the decision to sell it. A sale was brokered with a well-known private medal collector, British billionaire businessman Lord Ashcroft, and an application was made to New Zealand’s Ministry of Culture and Heritage which approved its export under provisions in the Protected Objects Act 1975. The ministry has said that when it gave approval for the cross to leave New Zealand, it followed all the procedures under the act, including seeking advice from expert examiners, although it has not said who those experts were. Police News is aware that Police was not asked for an opinion, or offered a chance to buy the medal, and nor were two other recognised medal experts, John Wills and Phillip O’Shea. No one has questioned the right of the family to sell the medal, but the decision to let it leave the country has raised serious concerns. The feeling among some in Police, and in the wider policing community, is that the medal is a taonga not only of the country’s policing history, but New Zealand history in general. Lord Ashcroft has said he will provide the medal for display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery of the Imperial War Museum in London. He has been quoted as saying, “this much-treasured decoration will be safe and secure… for a very long time to come”. This has raised another question: Why is a medal awarded to a civilian in peace time in New Zealand considered suitable for display in a British war museum? One suggestion has been that a much better resting place – and one accessible to more New Zealanders who have some connection with the events at Aramoana – would be the Otago Settlers Museum in Dunedin, which already has a section devoted to the mass killing that remains the deadliest in New Zealand.   The citation for the issuing of the medal appeared in the London Gazette in February 1992. It read in part: With limited resources available to him and impending darkness, Sergeant Guthrie had the task of locating and containing the crazed gunman, dealing with the wounded and preventing further loss of life. On arrival near the gunman's house, Sergeant Guthrie deployed the constable to cover the front of the house while he located himself at the more dangerous position at the rear. A thin cordon of the gunman's house was later completed by the arrival of a detective and two constables… The gunman had been sighted within his house and it can only be presumed that Sergeant Guthrie chose the dangerous position based on his sense of responsibility and the fact that he knew the area and the gunman. Sergeant Guthrie had taken cover in sand dunes… when suddenly out of the darkness he was confronted by the gunman. Sergeant Guthrie very courageously challenged him, saying "Stop... stop or I shoot". The sergeant then discharged a warning shot from his .38 calibre police revolver. The gunman then moved around and down upon the sergeant killing him instantly in a volley of shots.   Featured Articles Thu, 05 Apr 2018 13:10:17 +1200 Police association front page news It's all about balance https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/its-all-about-balance The Police Association has set up a Diversity Governance Group (DGG), which met for the first time last month at the National Office in Wellington. Association president Chris Cahill with the newly formed Diversity Governance Group. From left, Kelly Larsen, Mike McRandle, Sally Patrick, Craig Tickelpenny, Marcia Murray and Sarah Stirling. Association vice-president Marcia Murray is the group’s sponsor, joined by fellow VP Craig Tickelpenny and Region 6 director Mike McRandle, with Association members Sarah Stirling (Police College), Kelly Larsen (Christchurch) and Sally Patrick (Hastings) completing the team. They have been tasked with implementing the Association’s Gender Balance Strategy, which was the outcome of a workshop in May last year that considered the causes and consequences of gender imbalance in Association leadership positions. The draft strategy based on their findings was adopted by the board and confirmed at the annual conference, with a directive to bring it into effect in recognition of the need for a proactive approach to encouraging more women into leadership positions. Now the work begins to align the Association with its constitution’s Rule 35 (1), which directs the Association to “endeavour to create a balance on the board reflective of New Zealand society (recognising the democratic nature of its appointment processes)”. Although the starting point has been gender diversity, the DGG’s scope will also include diversity of ethnicity, age, skills, work groups and experience. Research into diversity in leadership shows higher performance outcomes when a range of perspectives are at the table, and this includes better results in problem solving and connecting with a wider audience. Just a week after the DGG’s establishment, the Association board approved some significant recommendations to jump start its commitment to diversifying the voices at leadership tables – at committee and board level. • For the rest of this year, a non-board member from the DGG will be seconded to board meetings to offer a different viewpoint on matters being discussed and, by being involved, to gain first-hand exposure to how the board operates. A report detailing this experience will go to committees with the aim of reaching women involved in Association representation. The intention is to increase this representation to two “shadow” board attendees. • The board has approved a maximum of seven representatives to attend the annual conference as observers. The impetus is to provide regions that do not have a female delegate the opportunity for female representation. Observing the conference will expose these members to the job of delegates and workings of the conference. • Succession planning and diversity will now be included as an item on future board agendas, backing up the work being done in the regions to ensure identification of potential women representatives, and mentoring and development support for women on committees. • It was also approved that, from now on, one of the two representatives attending PFAWAC (Police Federation of Australia Women’s Advisory Committee) conferences will report in person to the board post-conference. Featured Articles Fri, 06 Apr 2018 12:33:34 +1200 Police association front page news At the pointy end of prevention https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/pointy-end-prevention A reactive frontline squad with a holistic approach to criminal behaviour is behind the success of Christchurch’s Offender Prevention Team. Before and after a gang headquarters is shut down by the OPT in Christchurch. Dealing with organised crime in New Zealand is at the sharp end of policing, where our highest-risk, hard-core offenders are making a nuisance of themselves through drugs, firearms and family harm. Perhaps it’s not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about Prevention First, but it’s where the Christchurch Offender Prevention Team (OPT) do their best work, based on a simple premise – remove the offender from the criminal equation, and do it as quickly and  efficiently as possible. If it sounds like basic, old-school policing, you’re right, it is. As OPT OC Detective Senior Sergeant Kylie Schaare says, a lot of what they do is “common sense stuff”. The difference is, the team also looks at options to prevent reoffending, such as referrals for drug and alcohol treatment. “We take a holistic view of what might be contributing to the offending and what we do over and above arrest to change that behaviour,” Kylie says. They focus on the top 2 per cent of offenders who are committing 20 per cent of the crime, and a key to targeting and catching them is a rapid response to “hot” information. A problem identified a few years ago was that a lot of the piping-hot intel coming into police from tip-offs, or human source management units (HSMU), was not being acted on quickly enough. By the time the public safety teams or organised crime units were able to react, it was often too late. The intel had been languishing in a paper tray or inbox, and the trail was cold. But since the OPT has been equipped with the right staff to “take every opportunity to prevent harm”, it’s had some impressive results. Last year, over a four-month period, it dismantled a gang HQ in central Christchurch, closed down other drug houses, arrested 14 patched gang members and 37 associates, and seized substantial amounts of meth, cannabis, synthetics and firearms along the way. They made nine youth referrals, nine family harm referrals, four mental health referrals and 38 Housing NZ evictions for meth use and illicit activity. In 2016, the team carried out 181 search and surveillance operations and 264 search warrants, seizing 145 firearms, 12,040 rounds of ammunition, 15 kilograms of dried cannabis, 2263 cannabis plants, 786 grams of meth, 1687gm of synthetics and $579,754 in cash. But behind the short-term reactive policing are the wider goals. “It’s not just about kicking in doors. We have a full wraparound focus. My job is also about creating relationships within the community, dealing with families, finding out what’s triggering the offender, making referrals to other agencies and making youth crime a focus.” The OPT model, which is now being considered for rollout across other districts, had its genesis in Christchurch about five years ago. OPT manager Detective Inspector Greg Murton says it evolved from the time when the regular rosters included spending a couple of weeks on prevention-type work, doing the rounds of hot spots, etc. That morphed into the OPT which combines the talents and resources of traffic targeting teams, youth crime teams, five rotational PST members, five AOS members and that valuable HSMU intel. “It’s really common sense stuff and we are getting some fantastic results, which is why this model will be tried elsewhere,” Kylie says. “In some ways, it’s old school, dealing directly and appropriately with the offender, but it doesn’t stop there. “We always ask what else we can do to prevent this happening again.” There is a strong child protection focus. “When we go into homes where there are children, I ask staff to check if there is food in the fridge, beds for all the children, etc,” Kylie says. “If things don’t look good, there will be a referral to another agency. It’s about keeping a wide focus and being the voice for children in need.” It is also high risk. “There are often firearms,” says Kylie. “We are regularly seeing two or three weapons most weeks.” Despite that, it’s a popular secondment. And why wouldn’t it be… getting out there to deal with priority offenders quickly and efficiently is what most people join Police to do – shutting down gang pads, removing a violent abuser from a family home, arresting a mobile meth cook and identifying a young person who might be helped down a different pathway. Now that the model is almost ready to be rolled out to other districts, it’s likely that there will be plenty of members putting up their hands to be part of the OPT action. – ELLEN BROOK Featured Articles Fri, 06 Apr 2018 10:11:16 +1200 Police association front page news Holiday Homes - trouble booking or paying? https://www.policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/events/holiday-homes-trouble-booking-or-paying Please clear your browser cache. If you need any help with this, contact our Member Services team on 0800 500 122 or email: enquiries@policeassn.org.nz. Fri, 06 Oct 2017 23:00:00 +1200 Police association front page news