Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Why we need police


On a recent blog, Makagutu made mention of  supporting the abolition of the police and prisons. While, in principle, I support abolition of the latter, I don’t feel the same about abolishing the former.

The police do much more than just being enforcers of the law. For example, it was the police my wife called when she locked herself out of our home. On the rare occasions when a migraine attack leaves me confused and disorientated, not knowing who or where I am, it is typically the police who help me out by either transporting me home, or if they are concerned about my health, by taking me to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.

Then of course, there are all those friendly tips and life hack that help make life more pleasant. Take opening a jar for example. The modern vacuum sealed jar might be a miracle as far as health safety goes, but they’re an absolute sod when trying to open them. The police, knowing that a large section of the community have a problem opening said jars, and knowing that we can’t all wait until a friendly constable can be summoned to open the jar for us, have issued a Life Hack video to help us out.

Here, courtesy of the NZ Police is their very helpful guide to opening a jar:

But it’s not only do they provide practical tips, they also provide tips in enjoying life to the full. Here’s their guide to getting the most enjoyment out of eating a doughnut:

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

7 thoughts on “Why we need police

  1. Possibly in small, well integrated communities police can be community builders. Over here we had some scummy right wing politician supporting stop and search. It does not stop crime. It causes racial tension, and tension between classes. Article here.

    I love the life hacks, though.

  2. I agree with you, Barry; taking the point one step further, we can’t have law unless we accept law enforcement. The two are necessarily linked.

    So, regarding Clare Flourish’s statement that I consider bigoted against police:

    This is just one of many examples of what happens when police are more afraid of being labeled ‘racist’ and ‘right wing’ (amazing how these two are always presented as going hand in hand, isn’t it?) than they are of enforcing the law of the land. Yeah, it’s not bigoted at all to classify all police as fundamentally untrustworthy (unless the communities they police are ‘small’ and ‘integrated’ because that must happen independent of the same fundamental ‘racist and ‘right wing’ law enforcement proponents, you see). Considering the police as extensions of ‘racist’ and ‘right wing’ politicians doesn’t directly undermine their social standing at all. No, no, no: it’s not the crimes and criminals that are a problem, you see; it’s the police acting on behalf of this ‘racist’ and ‘right wing’ cabal who are the ones causing racial tension and tension between ‘classes’.

    • In response to your first sentence: It’s all very well to have law enforcement, but the nature of that enforcement is important. Apparently the mostly “gently gently” approach we find in Aotearoa New Zealand is often missing elsewhere. As the article Clare links to, heavy handed policing can cause more social problems than it solves.

      With regards to the rest of your comment, I’m confused. What statement by Clare? Clare’s comment above is regarding right wing politicians and the link is to a Guardian article on punitive policing. Your link is to a Wikipedia article on the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal. I don’t see the connection. I’m not sure of the context of the rest of your comment. Is that your comment or a quote of some other article.

      • The article I linked to is one of dozens of ‘communities’ where the police did not uphold the law out of an internal policy to not appear racist; instead, police forces throughout England specifically but many ‘less homogenized’ communities would turn a blind eye and not go after and arrest child sex trade gangs that were clearly of various and specific ethnic groups.

        This is abysmal.

        [deleted by Barry]

        • @tildeb. you are now under moderation. Attacking the character of persons who comment on my blog is not acceptable. Robust discussion about the topic at hand is fine, but I will not tolerate personal attacks on anyone who comments on my blog.

          If you would like to re-post your comment without attacking the character of a fellow contributor, I will allow it to be published.

  3. I think the necessity of law enforcement and the conduct of law enforcement are separate issues. Except for very small isolated communities which are tightly knit and which can address bad behavior in cultural ways, policing is a social requirement. But, like everything else, police forces can be corrupted or can corrupt themselves. Then, it is the duty of civic administrations to hold police personnel accountable and to redress the corrupting influences.

    • I think the necessity of law enforcement and the conduct of law enforcement are separate issues

      Precisely. However, one of my concerns is that the laws that police must enforce often have a cultural bias to them, not necessarily intentional, but simply because the ethnic or cultural majority frame laws that do not take other world views into consideration.

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