Public safety

Wellington no dive but still shit *

Remember when John Key was telling us Wellington was a dying city?  It appears it is in a serious state of decay:

Wellington’s popular waterfront diving platform was forced to close after faecal contamination spiked at nearly 500 times the safe level, documents reveal.

An email exchange issued under the Official Information Act showed that Wellington Waterfront and the city council decided to close the platform immediately on the Friday of the rugby sevens last year after getting advice from Regional Public Health.

But at the time, Wellington Waterfront chief executive Ian Pike pointed to drunken sevens fans as the main reason for the closure, with water quality mentioned only as contributing to the decision.

Yesterday, he said that was incorrect and while security guards were in place to stop drunken people taking a jump, the tournament was “coincidental” to the decision to close the platform.

It is not likely to reopen until March, when new baffles are installed to divert stormwater.

The documents showed that enterococci bacteria levels were well above 140cfu (colony forming units) per 100 millilitres of water, which is considered the safe level for swimming.¬† Read more »

Finding Evil in a Haystack

chatter_0202

Foreign Policy has a reasonably good article about the systems the NSA uses to monitor communications.

I say it is reasonably good in that they get some details right on the tools and algorithms used to analyse communications including (even thought they don;t use the term) link analysis, emergent grouping and other statistical analysis methodologies that allow systems and analyst to isolate the abnormal from teh billions of normal transactions in the data.

Over the last week, critics and defenders of the National Security Agency have heatedly debated the merits of metadata Рinformation about the phone activity of millions of Americans that was given to the government via a secret court order.

The information collected includes records of every call placed on the Verizon communications network (and, it appears, every other U.S. phone carrier) including times, dates, lengths of calls, and the phone numbers of the participants, but not the names associated with the accounts.

For some, the collection of these data represent a grave violation of the privacy of American citizens. For others, the privacy issue is negligible, as long as it helps keep us safe from terrorism.

There are indeed privacy issues at play here, but they aren’t necessarily the obvious ones. In order to put the most important questions into context, consider the following illustration of a metadata analysis using sample data derived from a real social network. The sample data isn’t derived from telephone records, but it’s close enough to give a sense of the analysis challenges and privacy issues in play. ¬† Read more »

Don’t. Just don’t. Let idiots kill themselves

via aucklandnz.com

via aucklandnz.com

Newstalk ZB reports

The death of a tourist at Auckland’s Hunua Falls has prompted another safety review at the popular site.

A 20-year-old Indian man fell into the water and died after losing his footing.

Hunua Ranges Regional Park senior ranger Wayne Carlson says Auckland Council has already worked hard on safety at this site, as there have been several other deaths.

Read more »

Community Service Notice – Vote for Warrington SLSC

surfclub

A friend has asked me to spread the word and solicit votes for Warrington Surf Lifesaving Club, I’d appreciate your votes and a blog post would be even better:

BP is running a nationwide competition for Surf Life Saving, where an IRB (Inflatable Rescue boat) is the prize for the club with the most votes. Warrington Surf Club was leading the votes, since a campaign was kick started by Columba College, after the incident at Purakunui, when the IRB from their club was used.

The boats are worth $25,000 and for a small club like Warrington, this would mean lots of raffles, sausages sizzles and quiz nights to raise the money to buy one.¬†¬† Read more »

If you arm the Police then allow citizens to bear arms too

ŠĒ• NZ Herald

The Police Association has renewed its calls for “guns on hips” after a rifle was allegedly aimed at a female officer in the Bay of Plenty early yesterday morning.

The officer had been responding to a report of suspicious activity in Katikati when she spotted a man near an intersection, police said.

When she stopped to speak to him, he dropped bags he was carrying and is alleged to have swung a rifle toward her.

The officer left immediately and called for back up, before armed offenders squad members were deployed in the area.

A 20-year-old man was arrested and yesterday appeared in Tauranga District Court on charges including burglary and using a firearm against a law enforcement officer.

I have no problem with arming the Police, but if the Police are to be armed then I also believe that suitably trained citizens should also be allowed to similarly armed. After all if you start arming state authorities with out similar rights passing to citizens then you run the very real risk fo the citizenry being able to be suppressed through fear and intimidation buy those same authorities.

A second point would also be that criminals already have and use firearms and the Police simply can;t be everywhere, thereby leaving unarmed citizens at risk. If the risk is great for the police then surely the risk is greater for citizens.

I am not saying that we should be allowed tio willy-nilly carry firearms…I am saying the with training and certification and appropriate club¬†membership¬†then this should be allowed.

Irony Alert

I find it ironic that Mr Martyn Bradbury snivels about there being not enough Police on Queen Street.

He said that years ago police would be out in force dealing with anyone causing trouble.

“I used to watch the old school police coming in with the paddy wagon, the pushy-shove type of police. But in the last six months they’ve dissipated overnight.

“There are a lot of foot patrols during the day, but after 8pm you don’t see them like you used to.”

However, police say they are out in force and have dedicated significant resources to covering the worst areas in the CBD.

Is this the same snivelly Martyn Bradbury who constantly posts anti-police propaganda as represented in the image on the linked post?

Martyn “DBD” Bradbury better hope that the cops don’t remember his anti-police tirades and decided that wee Martyn can be left to his own devices when confronted with scum on Queen Street.

 

Collins on Crime

Judith Collins talks about an article in The New Republic about crime in New York:

This is worth reading. The New York experience is mirrored in New Zealand over the last 3 years. Policing turned around and the crime rate has dropped to 1982 levels. The prison population, despite our increased penalties for violent, recidivist offenders, has fallen. South Auckland, which was known as “the mean streets” by the media, has turned around. It’s not because of the Lefties, it’s because of the Police and the fact that they stopped having to apologise for doing their jobs. Prevention First in Policing and Policing Excellence are making a lasting difference to many families and communities.

Now that Judith has fixed the Police perhaps she might like to undo the liberal damage in the Courts system.

No Brains

TVNZ has launched a new ad for their new season promos.

They are so detached from reality they don’t realise the stupidity of¬†someone running through a forest with a lit safety flare.

This is now the height of the risky forest fire season.

Further more he is holding an emergency distress smoke  flare which is a signal for distress.

Is this a reflection of TVNZ’s current¬†financial situation.

A few seconds of complete irresponsibility…both in using a pyrotechnic device¬†in a¬† forest and utilising a distress flare for fun instead of its intended¬†purpose.

Police Officers vs Wharfies

Yesterday I looked at the pay differential between Teachers and the lazy, overpaid wharfies. Some pointed out that wharfies have extremely dangerous jobs and hence the larger pay. They clearly haven’t taught year one in a South Auckland primary school let alone Year 10. However since danger is now the bench mark you couldn’t really get a more dangerous job than as a Police Officer.

CareersNZ tells me that Police pay rates are:

Pay varies, but during training police officer recruits earn $32,619 a year (total package $36,149). New graduates from Police College earn $47,600 a year, plus other benefits (total package $53,305). Salaries increase over time and police in higher ranks, such as sergeants, earn more than this.
According to the 2006 Census, police officers earned an average of $55,900 a year and worked an average of 43 hours per week. This includes full and part-time workers.

For that amount of pay they too also work rosters and are on call pretty their entire working lives. For the privilege of $55,900 per annum they get assaulted, stabbed, shot at, and sometimes run over and killed.

Wharfies on the other hand get full medical insurance benefits for their entire family, $91,000 per annum and only have to work 28 hours in every 40 hours rostered. They get to drive cranes and trucks and forklifts and hoists…but no¬†one shoots at them, no one stabs them, no one bites them, no one bashes them for tuning up to sort ¬†a domestic. There really is no comparison is there.

The people we rely on to protect us the most earn about half what a wharfie earns, I don’t think that is acceptable do you?

Who should be paid more

  • Police Officers who serve and protect (96%, 522 Votes)
  • Wharfies (4%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 541

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Politician of the Week – Judith Collins

The year is but 4 days old and Judith Collins has shown that she is continuing where she left off.

“I get tired of commentators who sit in their ivory towers telling the police what they should do and who live in areas where they’ve never had to confront real crime.

“Anybody who is so moronic to think that someone fleeing police is not criminal activity needs their heads read. Do they think dangerous driving is not criminal activity?

“Police have had years of getting really abused for doing their job and, frankly, I think the public is behind the police and they’re getting sick of the police taking a beating every time the police go and do their job.

“The public realise that police just can’t stand by and let dangerous drivers take over the roads.”

That was in response to suggestions that the Police policy with regard to fleeing drivers should be loosened to stop organ donors criminals trying to flee from Police.

Instead both the Police Association and their Minister are in agreement and there should be zero tolerance. For those who don’t get dead the punishment should be that they be locked up.

The trick now though will be to get the panty-waists in the Ministry of Justice and the judiciary to agree, though knowing this minister I don’t think that will be a problem.

Perhaps though we could also introduce the Mugs in the News concept and start with fleeing drivers as a trial.

UPDATE: It seems the Minister is more in tune with public sentiment that the drop-kick in charge at Justice.