Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two Small Thoughts

1. On the discussions about Police Orders there's been a lot of discussions about the problems that could come about if people were ordered to leave their house for five days. Issues such as the fact that the police have no obligation to ensure that people are dressed let alone they have a wallet, have been raised.

There seems to be an assumption that ignoring these issues would be irregular or unusual. My experience of the police and justice system would be that this is a false assumption. I know people who were arrested at 6am in Wellington and then released on bail four weeks later on a Friday at 5pm in Auckland, from the side of the court house. They weren't given their original clothes back, let alone their wallets, so they had neither money or ID. To assume that the police only occasionally ignore the needs of those they label as criminal is naieve for the extreme.

2. One thing that I want to make very clear from the beginning (and will discuss from several different angles later on) is that I'm not making any argument about what women who have been raped or abused should do. I don't think any women who is considering how to respond to her abuse should listen to a word I say.

More than that, I would not rule out going to the police and justice system myself (in fact I've done it). And I would certainly testify if asked.

Louise Nicholas showed that the justice system can be a platform.

I want to make this explicit, because it's too common for political analysis to be taken as an argument that individuals could change by acting differently. That's not something I believe in general.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:00 pm

    I've also experienced the p*lice dumping people in bad situations, and agree that it's not particularly unusual. It's something I've written to MPs about, and the PCA. To no avail, obviously. But this law seems designed specifically to produce that outcome, where in general p*lice releases seem to be based on the careless assumption that people have support when they might not.

    I think there's a difference between "we're dumping you outside the cop shop" and "we're banning you from your home" in terms of intention - people dumped have the (possibly theoretical) ability to return home to where they have stuff, where someone under an order cannot do that, and quite possibly will not be able to do anything other than "start walking or we'll arrest you for violating the exclusion order".

    Possibly a subtle difference, we'll have to see how the p*lice use the orders.