Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Kate Hawkesby: The balance has tilted so wildly in favour of criminals, if you’re the victim of crime why even bother reporting it?

As crime looks to be a hot election issue this year I worry about two things, well more than two things, but let’s start with these two. 

One - the lack of arrests being made and two - the top-down obsession from the police hierarchy with supporting offenders, not victims. 

David Fononga, if you don’t know the name, is the Auckland man who went on a shooting rampage in West Auckland firing at Police. They fired back and he was shot dead. But here’s the thing about him – he’d breached bail a month before this happened, and never been arrested for it.

So among the many investigations and reviews launched after this shooting incident, one of them is an internal review of why the Police did not respond to his breach of electronically monitored bail in the first place. 

Because, while we’re on that topic, he wasn’t the only one.

Five others were at large last week apparently having absconded while on electronically monitored bail. How many people need to be slicing off ankle bracelets and breaching their bail conditions and picking up guns is too many for the Police to react? How many times can offenders let their electronic monitoring bracelet batteries go flat – and not be chased up by Police? 

It’s not always the Police’s fault, there are others involved like Corrections and the judiciary of course – a judiciary who seem increasingly intent on having no one in jail. But I’m becoming more of the view that Police are being inactive - whether intentionally or unintentionally, I don’t know. 

But I do know of an incident recently in Auckland’s CBD where an American tourist was assaulted - punched in the back of the head and then kicked to the ground.  He wound up in an ambulance to Auckland Hospital needing stitches to his head.

That, of course, was a seven-hour wait - by which time his wound had closed up and they had to re-open it to stitch it back up because they'd left him so long at A&E, but that's another story for another day.

Anyway, his whole assault was caught on video, backed up by CCTV footage, several witnesses, and what did the Police who turned up do? Nothing. Not a single arrest

They stood around saying they needed to 'think about what to do' quote unquote and then suggested to upset witnesses that they ‘pop into a station sometime’ and make statements. 

The people involved in this incident said to me, this is why no one bothers calling the Cops. They don’t care, they do nothing. It’s hard to argue with.

The other thing I worry about is the obsession with the offenders, their backgrounds, and their families.

The new Police Minister said at the weekend that she promises ‘wrap-around support for families of youth offenders’. And as lovely as that sounds, it’s not really the first priority the community is looking at for a new Police minister. Certainly not during a time of the increased crime.

She repeated the tried and true Labour line of it being ‘complex’ and involving offenders from ‘complex backgrounds’ and she therefore would like to see wrap around support for each of these offenders. 

Well, that would be nice, as would having them not offend in the first place, but where does it leave all their victims? Where is their wrap-around care and support? 

The balance has tilted so wildly in favour of those creating the havoc and doing the crimes, that if you’re the victim of it, as these people were the other night in Auckland’s CBD, they rightly say, why even bother reporting it?

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Anonymous said...

Gosh yes - Ginny's lovely isn't she. She'll sort it with kindness. I do actually feel very concerned for the offenders. They have had a raw deal from their whanau. But they're not getting any better from the silly government. Learning from the mistakes of the past, that some people were abused in state 'care', we now need to provide for these rootless, empty-headed and 'unattended' young people, what they need to become fully human. And if institutionalisation is what it takes, then that's what it has to be. They need good adults to teach them to read- to think - to respect themselves as much as others. Prison might not be the worst punishment if prisons are seen - and staffed - as places of rehabilitation.

Terry Morrissey said...

The new Police Minister, by her performance at Question Time yesterday, is going to be just as honest and effective as all of the previous labour Police Ministers. She obfuscates, avoids answering direct questions and recites the usual cliches, platitudes, hyperbole that the labour cults spin machine churns out. But what can you expect from an ex unsworn civilian clerk.