Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cops on campus

Am I really surprised by this?

Police in Hamilton now based in schools

I guess not. But what a marker of how lawless and disaffected some parts of New Zealand society have become. Will the presence of police make a difference? It could merely escalate problems, as heightened authority and disapproval unintentionally provoke further and more overt displays of antagonism, anti-social feelings and/or bravado. But maybe school staff and parents of pupils feel reassured by the permanent presence of a police officer. Would you?

5 comments:

Mark.V. said...

Police in schools, that is what you get when parents and teachers are not permitted to discipline children, only the Police are now permitted to sanction a child's behaviour, not its parents or teachers.

As for the effect on staff and parents, given the anti-smacking legislation, the presence of Police would be a worry.

Harpoon said...

Police in NZ now based in the community. What a marker of how lawless and disaffected New Zealand society have become. Will the presence of police make a difference? It could merely escalate problems, as heightened authority and disapproval unintentionally provoke further and more overt displays of antagonism, anti-social feelings and/or bravado. But maybe the government and the public feel reassured by the permanent presence of a police officer. Would you?

coge said...

A local copper was supervising a colouring in competition at the local mall yesterday.
Guess it was to create a positive impression with the young, that they may retain when they become teenagers.

Lindsay said...

Harpoon, There is no difference between school and community? Perhaps next they will set up offices in primary schools and you will still be drawing a parallel.

Anonymous said...

My first reaction was pretty much as yours.
The principal of the school involved was interviewed on NewsTalkZB yesterday, and what he had to say sounded sensible.

A couple of things, from many years ago (but in Hamilton as it happens), suggest to me that this move may not be the bad "sign of the times" that we might imagine.

The Presbyterian Minister of the beautiful St Andrew's Church opened an office in the main street of the CBD because "that is where the people are". If he did not venture into their community, they were not going to venture into his.

An Intermediate School Principal had moved to Hamilton from a very large town. In the large town he was able to track down a truant within ten minutes of the absence being noticed.
In Hamilton that was impossible. The truant could be on a bus to Northland, or hitch-hiking to Raglan, or swimming in the Waikato River, and who would know.
But what knocked this Principal back the most, not long after taking up his new position, was that when an elderly woman was murdered in her home in the wider vicinity, the Police arrived at his school because their first leads were from playground discussions amongst pupils.

So maybe the "bobby on the beat", whose disappearance we lament, is reappearing where the people are.
If the only contact we have with the Police is when they emerge from a marked vehicle, then we are already in trouble.

Let's see if this initiative has some positives before the cry of "police state" takes hold.

kurt