Association warns against using police as strike-breakers

NZPA | Wed July 6th, 2016

“The Association believes that it is a very bad precedent to use police officers as strike-breakers,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

Mr O’Connor was commenting on a proposal by the government to use police officers to perform the roles of striking aviation security staff at airports.

“The primary role of police is to preserve the peace and to enforce the law,” Mr O’Connor said.

“For police officers to try to perform both roles, i.e. strike-breaking and policing any public disorder which may arise around such a dispute, is an absolute conflict,” he said.

“Police officers will always obey lawful orders, but to place them in a situation where their roles are in conflict is ill-advised.

“Industrial disputes and strikes are a part of the democratic process and should be respected by all parties. The role of the police is to enforce the law and keep the peace in such situations. To contemplate using police to perform the tasks of those who are taking industrial action, is to compromise their role as law enforcers and peace keepers,” Mr O’Connor said.

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