In case everyone forgot it was election year our Dear Leader has come up with her own solution to solve the problems in Glenn Innes Panmure Otara Manurewa. Less stores selling alcohol.
Gee obviously a lot of thought has gone into this. Probably along the lines of it being an election year and needing some good press and being seen to solve the mess you created in the first place.
Despite billions of dollars being spent on social services, health and education and massive increases in the government bureaucracies and budget allocations, the real solution to social dislocation and poor uneducated people behaving badly is actually to reduce the number of stores selling RTD’s… well, it’s taken the PM over six years to work it out and it’s such a neat cheap solution you wonder why she hadn’t thought of it before.
Sheer genius, there’s so much evidence to show this simple solution will solve the problem… and really, the next step should be to roll it out nationally and have prohibition as that was such a success. The next logical step would be to encourage people to abstain from sex as this will reduce unwanted pregnancy and any social problems stemming from that.
There is no easy answer but a bit of leadership from the Police could be a start. I don’t mean having patrols armed with “Bushmaster” rifles (and in case you thought that was a hunting rifle, a Bushmaster is a modern version of the M16 assault rifle), we have the AOS and guns in some cars so this suggestion is as meaningless as the PM’s suggestion.
The Police Commissioner should sit down with the Mayor (Deputy in this case) and come up with a local solution, and I would suggest that this would involve really concentrated, high profile, long term community policing. The sort of policing the Police hate, getting out of their cars and hitting the pavement, small community stations spread throughout the district. The community getting to know their local Policeman or Policewoman, and that person being around and visible.
I know the Police cultrually seem to hate this method of policing and have steadfastly resisted efforts by governments of all persuasions efforts to introduce it. Well guy’s, you’ve had years to come up with a better solution and not only have your ideas not worked, but you are now officially deeply unpopular with the public. So maybe it’s about time the leadership showed some balls and tried something different, even if your rank and file would rather sit in the comfort of their cars and eyeball people, because the situation is now clearly so bad, that a few Bushmaster rifles is not going to solve this mess.
The Police need to actually get out and engage with the public, both law abiding and those on the fringes. You need to give the public confidence and hope, and you simply won’t do that with a bunch of guns. The Police might even start attracting a different kind of recruit interested in real community policing. Sadly it is going to take some creative thinking and courage to undertake the change, and to date the current leadership in the Police has shown a woeful lack of this quality.
This won’t solve the problem over night and will take a commitment beyond an elected politicians three year vision, but over time it may helpto change attitudes towards the Police and the public attitude – both from those who commit crime and those who could help to stop it. This won’t stop major crime, but it will help prevent small crimes that lead to young people moving onto bigger things.
Even if it stopped one in five kids becoming hardened criminals thats a step towards breaking a cycle that closing a few stores selling alcohol won’t make a bit of difference too.