The disproportionate and increased rate of offending by Māori, both youth and adult offenders, is reflected in almost every major negative area associated with criminal activity, including dishonesty, drugs, murder, aggravated robbery, serious assaults and family violence.
Intervention Progress Report
Capability/Response to Reducing Offending by Māori and Victimisation of Māori
Police continue to improve intelligence and evidence based mechanisms to empower their decision-making about deployment and partner options. Police’s Iwi Liaison Officers continue to enhance very good relationships with Māori across the country. This network combined with focused lead from the Māori Pacific Ethnic Services office has had a profound and positive effect across the manner and method of policing deployed during the Hikoi and annual celebrations at Waitangi.
A revised Responsiveness to Māori Strategy to 2010 is intended to be progressive. It seeks to build on established excellent relationships and capability platforms between Police and Māori and is integral to, and complimentary of, district priorities to prevent and reduce crime.
Partnerships with Māori are critical to success. The underlying negative social conditions that are fertile to crime propensity will remain unchanged unless Māori iwi/hapü is fully engaged in all process from conceptualisation, through implementation to continuous improvement.
The over-representation in criminal activity by Māori requires innovative techniques and responses to tackle and prevent offending by and victimisation of Māori. The issue of reducing offending continues to be addressed through intervention programmes, which have required the specialist skills of Iwi Liaison Officers, leading and directing much of the district programmes. In 2005/06 Police continued to grow capability by focusing and delivering on:
proactive crime reduction initiatives across police districts
building energetic and effective partnerships, evident in some areas
developing innovative leadership through a leadership development course
involving Māori as key decision makers to activate tactical options to reduce offending and victimisation such as in Waikato and Auckland
regular evidence based briefings to strategic partners to focus on the crime problems
the use of improved intelligence products has made a significant difference in some districts through proactively targeting specific crime types such as burglary and family violence and with the support of key Māori partners who took ownership of the identified problems.
The focus on well-trained and well-supported staff has been the key to understanding the value of applying a more effective and efficient use of evidence based policing, community oriented policing and joint problem solving approaches to reduce offending by Māori. Introductory courses to Responsiveness to Māori are a core part of curriculum delivery at the Royal New Zealand Police College aimed at improving police response to reduce crime. The delivery and presentation to senior police courses in 2005/06 namely the Advanced Intel-Analysts, Criminal Investigation Branch, and Senior Youth Services group supported the advancement of the Responsiveness to Māori Strategy. Building the skills and competency levels through training is ongoing.
Police continued to put more focus on priority crime types committed by high risk offenders by bringing together the best possible people and a broader range of innovative and effective providers from the public, private, and community sectors to support targeted interventions.
Leadership and Management Commitment
In October 2004 Police approved a Leadership and Management Development Course aimed at increasing the leadership capability of members of Police with a close association with Māori, Pacific or other Ethnic Communities. The course commenced in 2006, and is designed to develop potential and assist emerging leaders to reach their full capability. 20 frontline constables are currently on this course.
Area commanders and middle managers including Iwi Liaison Officers have undertaken Māori Responsiveness training to develop a consistent, integrated and cohesive approach to reduce Māori offending and victimisation.
Partnership Relationship with Māori
The Commissioner’s Māori Focus Forum will continue to advise on key strategic and national issues for Māori and maintain oversight on key interventions with Māori. The Forum maintains links through its membership to all of the district advisory groups.
Equitable access to policing services
Youth Offending Teams are an available resource to ensure Māori children and young people are deterred from engaging in crime. The engagement of Iwi Liaison Officers in this area will support Youth Services including providing access to key Māori service providers who are available to tackle the causes of youth offending and other related poor outcomes. It is essential that these services are accessible and available to Māori. Family Safety Teams for family violence prevention with the support of Iwi Liaison Officers will inform iwi/hapü on the prevalence of violence to support proactive interventions.
Targeted responses to Māori Offending and Re-offending
Targeted enforcement and crime prevention are at the heart of the Responsiveness to Māori Strategy. Police’s ongoing approach is based on evidence that the risk factors such as low income, drug and alcohol abuse, antisocial behaviour and violence are of high incidence in Māori communities, and that this situation requires a targeted response to address the over-representation in crime. Police continue to focus on improving the quality of intelligence information and assessment to prioritise the use of resources and encourage the use of proactive partnerships. Police efforts in this area include improving Police and other agency effectiveness and support for at-risk Māori families, working with all partners to reduce the incidence of family violence for Māori, as well as supporting Māori youth at risk preventive programmes. In addition Police are working with all partners to reduce misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs by Māori.
Key partners and strategies that Police work with to enhance Māori responsiveness include:
Te Puni Kökiri, Ministry of Social Development, local Iwi/hapü, Māori service providers, Māori based consultation groups, community agencies.
Government’s commitment to uphold the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, He Tirohanga o Kawa ki te Tiriti o Waitangi, Rapua Te Huarahi Tika, Whanake Rangatahi.
Government’s Crime Reduction Strategy, Responsiveness to Māori Strategy to 2010, Te Rito: New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy, Youth Offending Strategy, Government’s Road Safety to 2010 Strategy, Improving Outcomes for Young People in Counties Mānukau.