The law should apply to all

February 1st, 2011 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Anna Leask in the Herald reports:

A senior officer has condemned colleagues for using their cellphones while driving, saying it is a joke to go out and enforce the law when officers appear to be readily flouting it.

I agree. I have never been a supporter of the new law, and the fact that Police are basically exempt from it makes it worse.

Another officer has been caught on camera talking on his cellphone at traffic lights. He was filmed by a motorist in West Auckland on Thursday.

“I wound down the window and started recording, I was yelling out trying to get his attention,” said the motorist, who did not want to be identified. “Then the light turned green and he casually drove off, still talking.”

If Police are in an emergency situation, then cellphone use should be okay, but this case shows quite the opposite.

The senior officer said it was unacceptable for police to be using cellphones while driving unless it was a real emergency. “I’m out there telling people off for using their phones while they drive. And yet cops are out there doing it. I am absolutely pissed off by the hypocrisy,” he said.

And shouldn’t Police cars have hand free devices anyway?

The Herald was inundated with emails from readers over the weekend who had spotted officers using their cellphones while driving.

“I actually reported a policeman in a marked police car driving on St Lukes Rd talking on the mobile phone, driving around 65km/h and changing lanes without indicating,” said one.

Another reader concerned about a female officer using her phone on the harbour bridge was disappointed with the response to his official complaint. He was quoted the relevant act.

The exemption for Police is too wide. It should be for emergencies only.

Or they could just scrap the law, and just use the general offence of driving while distracted.

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43 Responses to “The law should apply to all”

  1. BeaB (1,960 comments) says:

    The Stasi would thrive in NZ. What a lot of pathetic snoopers.

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  2. Gerrit (105 comments) says:

    Nearly got wiped out by a taxi driver totally focussed on resetting their GPS navigation aid. Perhaps we should ban the resetting of those while driving as well.

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  3. mjwilknz (606 comments) says:

    Is it a good definition of a stupid law – one that not even the cops follow?

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  4. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    Dumb Arse Law #3976

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  5. CJPhoto (183 comments) says:

    I had a police emergency the other day but I coundn’t find their cell phone number in the white pages.

    Seriously, if it is an emergency, they will be on their RT, not a cell phone.

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  6. adze (1,695 comments) says:

    Definitely should apply to police as well, even though I’m ambivalent about the law itself (mainly because there are many more devices in a car equally distracting; especially those that require eyes be taken off the road).

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  7. Viking2 (10,752 comments) says:

    Excellent Law badly policed.
    The road is much safer now that I don’t have to dodge all you people who think like women and think you can do five things at once neglecting your’s and others safety. Obviously those that think they can drive with one hand holding a cellphone and their minds on another planet really have no idea at all just what lousy drivers they really are.
    Kinda comparable to having a shag and answering your cellphone all at the same time. Dumb and stupid. Hand your licenses in and use a taxi.

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  8. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    In all fairness Whale should also get an exemption when he is in hot pursuit of savages with iron bars. :)

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  9. Rex Widerstrom (5,130 comments) says:

    The Police: NZ’s largest and best-equipped street gang. Well what other organisation has members who put up a wall of silence around a fellow member’s wrongdoing; routinely flout laws they consider themselves to be above; are constantly seeking to be better armed; and spend a great deal of their time menacing people who really don’t deserve it?

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  10. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Personally I think we should be looking at the real culprits behind driver distraction (I know I do).

    Pretty young women. oooh yes. gorgeous pretty women just walking around in broad daylight.

    This is sort of thing should be addressed and quickly, for how else are we ever going to get from a to b in complete safety?

    Ban them. Or make them cover up like our muslim brothers have wisely done.

    Of course, by these criteria, Glen Eden ‘shopping centre’ is probably the safest place to drive in the whole of New Zealand, but I digress..

    Comments, Rex?

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  11. adze (1,695 comments) says:

    Rex, is that why you are vehemently opposed to routinely armed police, your perception of them as an organisation?

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  12. wreck1080 (3,533 comments) says:

    This story is rubbish for a number of reasons.

    The first reason is that the police do not believe that the cellphone user was actually a cop – their reasoning is the epaulette was a different size to police issue.

    So, given the police are taking the position that he is not a cop, surely this is not a story unless the police are lying/mistaken.

    The second reason the story might be crap, is that police are allowed to use their cellphones for work purposes from what I have heard. Has it been proven that if he were actually a cop, whether he was using it for work?

    A third reason the story is rubbish is due to the inconsistent treatment by the media. A few weeks ago, a senior policeman who by reason of his position is probably not involved in operational work was snapped travelling at or over 130kph on the auckland motorway. He was actually filmed because the TV news was doing a story on speeding motorists. This guy issued a statement that he was following an offender – – This sounds very dubious to me and the police have not confirmed it at all. Was he telling porkies, or not? If telling porkies he should lose his job like another cop who recently lost their job for telling lies about his registration.

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  13. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    What’s the point in squealing about a lawless society when those that should be enforcing the law are seen breaking it. If the law makers and law enforcers can’t lead by example why is there surprise when the general population pay the law no heed. This is especially relevant to those that lead us, the Dear One been a prime example. Until those on top of the heap realise the buck stops with them, then they can hardly expect the great unwashed to do as they are told.

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  14. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    Haha one law for yeah right – pigs aren’t corrupt ! Ok judge how come every Saturday the police team members play cricket and drink excessively then drive from Redwood Park in their own cars. Ouch that hurt you low down hypocrites. Or should I mention the disgusting antics of a local detective sergeant? You scum are paid to protect no cause mayhem! Derek the neighbour is most concerned Mr Plod.

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  15. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    If only you morons knew the Davis – Pope – Manderson story. Ooops. Now that’s a story!

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  16. dime (8,790 comments) says:

    oh great, here comes the cop hating.

    maybe some of you “right wing” cop haters should go live in the mountains somewhere

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  17. Rex Widerstrom (5,130 comments) says:

    Lee C:

    I’m not sure what you want me to comment on? The relative attractiveness of the populace who can be found at the Glen Eden shops? If that’s the case, I can only suggest you attend a ute rally or tractor pull in Australia. The testosterone! The roll-your-owns! The tattoos! The gallons of beer consumed! The fisticuffs! And yes… you could see it coming, couldn’t you… that’s just the women.

    adze:

    Yes. Frontline police are increasingly predominantly young, inexperienced and poorly trained in terms of psychology. Give them a gun and they’ll fall back on it too often and in inappropriate situations. I posted here a few weeks back that – the old adage that you’re getting old when polciement look young aside – I was sitting in a cafe when a spindly, pimpled young policeman who looked about 12 walked in, pepper spray, tazer and Glock 9mm on his hip. The thought he could panic and point any of those at me was disturbing.

    Then you have the small percentage who wilfully commit serious assaults etc. The most recent case I observed the officer denied it and so did his partner, till CCTV footage was produced of him attacking, unprovoked, a passer-by for an “offensive comment”*. When the footage was produced the partner admitted she was lying. She wasn’t punished (though the officer who committed the assault was sacked). That’s typical of the “blue wall” investigators encounter. So when guns were misused we’d never get to the bottom of it.

    * The passer by joked “If you find any drugs on him, can I have some?”. That was enough to provoke a king hit, followed by punches while on the ground, then handcuffing.

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  18. big bruv (12,389 comments) says:

    Dime

    Piss off…leave them in the South Island please, Christchurch is the perfect place for all the loonies.

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  19. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    My brother is a cop dime and many of my friends however I detest police corruption and so do they! Do you know why Manderson came to ChCh and Pope went to HQ? Get real boy and go shag a HIV positive hooker. The double standards of the police is sickening.

    Edit – got a real name big bruv? You know nothing.

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  20. dime (8,790 comments) says:

    if your brother is a ocp then you should know the shit they go through. my brother was also a front line cop for over a decade.

    i watched him and his friends get fucked over by pc bullshit, time and time again.

    the issues are the head office, not the police that actually do the police work.

    how many cops are there? 10,000?? or course there are going to be shit heads. happy for them to be called on it too. but when every cop cops from morons it gives me the shits.

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  21. elscorcho (144 comments) says:

    Some ignorance in this thread:
    1. “they’d be on their RT”. Do you understand how radios work? This isn’t like an army, there isn’t a company net, a battalion net, a regiment net etc. There’s basically a network for large areas. Radio traffic is short and sharp. If you’re “hands on” managing a situation, then a cellphone is essential. You can’t clog up the whole net with your single incident.
    2. Frontline police are increasingly predominantly young? What idiocy. The age profile of NZ Police is older than it has ever been before. But don’t let hard statistics get in the way of your anecdotal crap, of course. As for “panicking and pointing”, exactly how many times has that happened? Zero.
    3. 130kph? he was clocked at 120 and he said ‘a vehicle of operational interest’. Not to mention that just up the road, some bourgeois capitalist business owner got clocked doing 158 and lost his license. Nobody mentioned his name.

    Nobody says NZ police are perfect. But in the world, there is not ONE less corrupt or more efficient force. Not one. And before deny it, start googling commissions of enquiry around the world. NY cops dealing drugs, QLD cops protecting murderers, NSW cops taking a cut from armos.

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  22. nasska (9,579 comments) says:

    Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law….. it’s just that some are more equal than others.

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  23. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    dime I agree nothing wrong with front line cops, however police HQ is as corrupt as Aunty Helen’s office in the big bad apple. The “pc bullshit” you speak about is just corruption.

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  24. dime (8,790 comments) says:

    struth i agree with d4j.

    the head office are fuckin scumbags. was hoping they would improve once labour left.. but doesnt look like it

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  25. Rex Widerstrom (5,130 comments) says:

    @dime:

    maybe you right wing cop lovers should get arrested, multiple times, for shit you didn’t do; put through interrogation; have your life put on hold while you await trial; pay a fortune for lawyers (and when you can’t, be forced to bludge off your relatives); then get found noy guilty – or have the charges dropped – without so much as an apology. Indeed, it’ll only make them want to get you more. Just as they did to d4j (who seems remarkably forgiving!).

    When you’ve been stuck in a cell where you have to crap next to some woman-beating dirtbag or drug-addled freak and you don’t belong there – and you know the people who put you there know you don’t really belong there – then see if you still want to cuddle a cop.

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  26. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    I am glad we agree dime and I will spill the beans on huge corruption within police head office in due time. I have the bully from pissed off good cops. Cheers mate.

    Edit – Rex I have been nearly killed by New Zealand police and people want me to take the pricks down. All in due time.

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  27. dime (8,790 comments) says:

    rex – as i said, there are many shit bags in the police. point out a group of 10,000 people and ill find you 500 assholes.

    its just the blanket hate/abuse/whatever that gets me

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  28. big bruv (12,389 comments) says:

    D4J

    “dime I agree nothing wrong with front line cops”

    Bullshit D4J, you have slandered every bloody cop in the land over the years you have been posting on this site, I have lost count of the number of times you have called them all corrupt.

    I have no doubt that you have had the odd run in with the cops D4J, the anger you display on this site would suggest that you have probably deserved what ever came your way each and every time.

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  29. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    Look big blouse go away kiwiblog was a far better place before you starting infesting it with your pathological hatred. Man you are one very sick unit. Go away you cowardly smear. You make me ill just thinking of all the fucking lies you spurt. Found those threatening emails yet. Haha a gutless nark like you would have forwarded them to Farrar and police. GO AWAY LIAR!

    EDIT – PLEASE STOP PLAYING THE ANGER CARD . At least I don’t ask journalists to kill themselves. Who has the anger big blouse or should I say FAT GNOME.

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  30. big bruv (12,389 comments) says:

    Rex

    I dislike the way you think we should cuddle criminal scum, however I have no doubt that your desire to see things change is genuine, while we disagree I respect your opinion.

    I am also in no doubt that you were quite unjustly fucked over by the system and for that you will always have my deepest sympathy.

    However, you do yourself no justice by lumping yourself in with D4J, you are a sane rational man (albeit wrong) where as D4J is a complete idiot.
    D4J has obvious anger issues, he also refuses to accept that his actions are more than likely the cause of his problems with the cops.

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  31. Rex Widerstrom (5,130 comments) says:

    @dime:

    With me it’s not blanket hate – though I’ll admit to hating those I know were out to get me – it’s blanket distrust. Sadly my own experience and those of many others I know personally and have read of make me distrust the motives and integrity of any police officer till proved otherwise.

    I’ll readily admit it is often proved otherwise. But having said that my objection to them carrying guns is rooted in my belief that far too many of them are too young anmd inexperienced moreso than concerns about deliberate misuse.

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  32. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    “However, you do yourself no justice by lumping yourself in with D4J, you are a sane rational man (albeit wrong) where as D4J is a complete idiot.
    D4J has obvious anger issues, he also refuses to accept that his actions are more than likely the cause of his problems with the cops.”

    More lies, more lies. WHO THE FUCK IS THIS COWARDLY CREEP?
    Got a real name Mr big bruv you insipid coward. I have had it with your continual slander. You need a legal lesson in manners.FFS I have had it with this fucking quivering lying c###!

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  33. big bruv (12,389 comments) says:

    Rex

    “But having said that my objection to them carrying guns is rooted in my belief that far too many of them are too young anmd inexperienced moreso than concerns about deliberate misuse.”

    See Rex this is where we disagree, while I understand your mistrust of our Police I cannot accept that we should lose the odd cops just because you had a bad experience with some of them.

    The life of one cop is worth far more than ten criminals, if our cops are forced to shoot and kill criminals to save their own lives then so be it.

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  34. Rex Widerstrom (5,130 comments) says:

    Big Bruv:

    I’ve never had to endure the Family Court personally, thank god. But I’ve worked on the cases of several people who are. I’m astounded at the self-control of the dads – even those who exhibit anger – because in their situation I’d have turned up with a gun; not for the ex, but for the “independent” childrens’ lawyers, the dimwit judges, the lawyers who see prolonging the misery as a gravy train etc. And especially the bureaucrats that become involved in people’s lives. That d4j has “anger issues” suprises me not the least.

    The life of one cop is worth far more than ten criminals, if our cops are forced to shoot and kill criminals to save their own lives then so be it.

    Leaving aside whether that argument is right or wrong, it’s not the point. I’m not talking about how many criminal lives we’ll lose, but those of innocent bystanders, victims of mistaken identity etc who end up being shot – as was the innocent courier driver on the Auckland motorway – by a cowboy whose first instinct is to reach for his gun or the terrified Police College graduate who panics on his first confrontation.

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  35. big bruv (12,389 comments) says:

    Jesus D4J, do you ever think before you bash out a comment?

    You have slandered somebody on DPF’s site, I could not care less if you end up in the shit again but DPF does not deserve to be dragged into it all because you cannot control your temper.

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  36. elscorcho (144 comments) says:

    Are you saying, Rex, that our training is worse than overseas training – “terrified Police College graduate” – or rather that we shouldn’t accept the same degree of risk as overseas judiciaries?

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  37. elscorcho (144 comments) says:

    And Rex, like I said, the NZ Police is older than it’s ever been – average age is over 40 – so your comments that too many cops are ‘young and inexperienced’ is simply false. You cannot argue the numbers

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  38. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    big blouse – I have controlled my temper and I am only acting as any normal bloke would that has been bombarded for years by malicious liars like yourself. Fairs fair, you know nothing about me,however you continually slander my credibility. If only we could sort our beef out like gentlemen – face to face?
    Goodbye I want nothing more to do with a pathological liar who remain anonymous. You are one nasty unit. I laugh at you as I can put a REAL name to my comments.

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  39. Rex Widerstrom (5,130 comments) says:

    elscorcho asserts:

    NZ Police is older than it’s ever been – average age is over 40 – so your comments that too many cops are ‘young and inexperienced’ is simply false.

    Were are you getting your information from? The Police Annual Report breaks down staff numbers by gender, ethnicity, rank, remuneration… everything but age!

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  40. adze (1,695 comments) says:

    According to this police news release from 2008, the average graduand age from one particular Wing was 28:

    76 recruits will graduate – 61 males and 16 females
    • The average age of wing members is 28 (the youngest is 18 and the oldest is 44)

    http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/4242.html

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  41. Rex Widerstrom (5,130 comments) says:

    Ahh okay I went outside official statistics and found this:

    Police said the average age of police officers was rising faster than the average age of the population and within nine years more than 60% of police officers would be over 40, compared with 31% in 2000.

    By 2019 more than a quarter of officers would be over 50 compared with 7% in 2000, police magazine Ten One reported

    I’m not sure if “the average age is over 40″ as you claim now, given that it’ll take nine years to reach 60% but let’s say that it is. How many of those older officers are likely to be in patrol cars or walking the beat – the places where you’re most likely to come across an unexpected situation such as a menatlly ill person off their meds, someone on drink or drugs, or a violent incident? All with the potential for innocent bystanders.

    Do you have any data on age breakdown by rank? And / or nature of job (detective vs uniformed officer etc)? That’d help the debate.

    Meanwhile, let me ask you this: if we need more officers armed (and I’ve yet to see a properly researched opinion as to why) then why not simply train older, senior officers in weapons and give them the authority to use them? They could then continue in their non-frontline roles (and I’m including detectives in that description) and be called to incidents when needed.

    If I’m going to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time when police are drawing guns, I’d like to think the people looking down the barrel were the kind of experienced, level headed officers who intervened once when I unknowingly got into a stolen car. Rather than chase us at high speed they followed in an unmarked car and plucked us up when we stopped for gas. No doubt it’d have been more exciting to chuck on the lights and give chase, but thankfully they’d been round long enough for their testosterone levels to have reduced.

    edit: Oh, thanks adze.

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  42. elscorcho (144 comments) says:

    My point is that the average age of cops is higher now than it was, and the same distribution across roles remain

    So in the old days you were LESS likely to see an old copper on the beat because there were actually fewer old coppers altogether

    BTW this is a ‘mean’ rather than median average, so if anything it’s likely to underrepresent, as there will definitely be more 20yo than 60yo coppers!

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  43. beautox (408 comments) says:

    They should teach Police that their brakes are not special and they should obey the 2-second rule.

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