Just don’t call it a quota

One of the reasons trust in the keeps dropping, is when the hierarchy act like politicians.

The Herald reveals a memo from Waitemata road policing manager Superintendent John Kelly:

In the August 12 email, Waitemata road policing manager Superintendent John Kelly sets out ticket targets for his district’s highway patrol officers in five “fatal” offence categories.

The categories are speeding, alcohol, restraints (e.g. seatbelts and child carseats), dangerous/careless driving and high-risk driving.

Each fulltime-equivalent officer is expected to issue 1420 tickets a year, including 560 for speeding, the email says.

With 225 traffic officers on New Zealand roads, that means 875 tickets should be dished out to motorists throughout the country every day.

And the email points out in bold type that the figures are “the minimum expectation”.

It’s damn obvious there is a quota. What else do you call a minimum expectation?

Mr Kelly told the Weekend Herald the figures in the email came from the national quarterly performance report, and were averages only.

“There’s no quota,” he said yesterday. “There’s nothing that says, ‘You will by God go out there and write out 25 tickets an hour for speeding’ or anything like that.

No, the quota is not an hourly quota, but it is still a quota. We get the truth elsewhere:

However, National Party police spokesman Chester Borrows said Mr Kelly’s email confirmed the existence of quotas “yet again”.

“What running a quota does is concentrate on getting tickets and it doesn’t concentrate on harm reduction,” he said. “Police will give tickets to people where it’s easy to catch them rather than where the real fear of death or injury is.”

Police Association president Greg O’Connor also said the reality was that quotas existed.

“Every police officer knows that police have quotas and wryly smile whenever they see senior police stand up and say they don’t.

“They are dressed up many other ways but the reality is that there is an expectation of members that are out there, that they will write so many tickets to certain categories.”

Mr O’Connor said quotas were “essentially wrong” because they impacted on “that most important element of policing, which is discretion”.

And the deceptive language used by the Police hierarchy just undermines confidence in them.

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