Police continue to act as lobbyists

Police are continuing to act as lobbyists.

When they aren’t trying to change firearms law by decree, they are lobbying shopkeepers to oppose neighbouring stores and their applications for liquor licences.

Police have been knocking on neighbours’ doors and sharing a guide on how to oppose a controversial liquor store application in central Wellington.

The city’s district licensing committee (DLC) has received 50 applications opposing the application to turn a fruit and vege shop in Aro St into a liquor store – but the owner says the backlash was heightened after police shared the “how to” guide on social media, complete with a photo of her store.

Officers doorknocked businesses around Manjula Patel’s Aro Fruit Supply in late May to inform them of her and Vinod Hira’s application.  

That is outrageous behaviour.

An officer explained the proposal, and said the sale of ready-to-drink alcohol and spirits could lead to higher crime.

Helen Daly, owner of the neighbouring Skin Clinic, said police visited her store late last month, out of the blue, to talk about the application.

“I thought it was strange that they were spending their time doing this,” she said.

The community policing centre shared the “how to” application on social networking site Neighbourly on May 31.

It outlined the grounds for opposing a liquor licence application, and included comments such as: “Get in quick as the clock is ticking”.

Do they have any proof that RTD cause a rise in crime. It seems to me if the Police spent less time lobbying and more time policing they’d have a bigger impact on crime than stopping the sale of RTDs.

The guide included a template letter, with a photo of the store, for objectors to the send to the DLC. Options in the letter included: “I believe the store owner is not appropriate”, and “There is a lot of problems related to alcohol in the area already”.

Wellington human rights lawyer Michael Bott said it seemed police were acting as a lobby group pushing an agenda, rather than in their statutory function as a neutral enforcer of the law.

“The police are effectively involved in a campaign to drive out small shopkeepers from their ability to sell beer and wine. It shows a level of predetermination on their part by trying to drumbeat a wave of discontentment against shopkeepers amongst the community.

There are few things I will ever agree with Michael Bott, a former Labour party candidate, on. This, however, is one of them.

The Police need to be censured for their behaviour. Their crusade against lawful firearms owners also continues unabated. They continue to try to use Orders in Council to unilaterally change the Arms Act. These two instances, along with their failure to act on ANY ElectoralAct breaches shows how out of touch Police have become.

Their minister seems to be missing in action too.

 

-Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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