Police too strict on domestics
Too many minor domestic assaults are ending up in court, clogging the system and stretching resources.
Too many minor domestic assaults are ending up in court, clogging the system and stretching resources, Nelson criminal lawyers say.
They say a warning system or police diversion is needed to keep minor cases out of court.
Police have a zero tolerance policy towards domestic violence.
Nelson lawyer Mark Dollimore said many more minor domestic violence cases were coming through the courts than in the past, and it was “PC gone mad”.
“It’s like this big net where [police] have to charge everything in sight.”
In the Nelson District Court this week, Judge David McKegg threw out two cases of low-level domestic violence involving women charged with hitting their partners.
In one case, a woman was charged with assaulting her husband. The couple were walking home along Main Rd Stoke after a night out when they started arguing. The woman walked away and her husband grabbed her arm. She swung her arm back, hitting him in the face. The woman did not have any previous convictions.
Judge McKegg said the law “does not want to get involved in anything as minor as that”.
He threw out another case where an Australian woman on holiday in Nelson slapped her husband in the face during an argument. She also had no police record.
Dollimore, who represented the woman, said she should never have been charged. She had a brain injury and her husband – a policeman in Australia – had been baiting her badly.
Dollimore said bringing minor cases to court was expensive, clogged the system, and brought stress to households.
“The lack of discretion, the lack of flexibility is impractical.”
He said a warning system or police diversion was needed for first-time domestic violence offences, so people could still be held accountable, while leaving the courts to focus on more serious cases.
Diversion is available to first offenders charged with a minor offence, allowing them to avoid a criminal conviction.
Dollimore said it was not available for people facing domestic violence charges in Nelson, which was an anomaly.
“Everyone tiptoes around it, particularly in a male assaults female charge – thinking if we give any flexibility, he will go home and kill her and that will be the end of my career. It’s over-reactive.”
Nelson lawyer Steven Zindel said that while domestic violence was a serious issue, he and other lawyers thought the zero tolerance policy towards it created its own injustices.
“Suddenly you have a minor slap between partners, who love each other, and that’s treated as a whole major sin, as opposed to some of the nasty comments that get said between partners and which might provoke such conduct.
“The offenders may be in the cells over the weekend, partners will be separated by bail conditions, charges may be defended on the basis of a push-push being claimed to be self defence, and police and court resources will all be stretched as a result.”
While some of the lower-level domestic assaults coming to court might technically fit the label of a domestic assault, pursuing them through the courts was like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, Mr Zindel said. He did not believe criminal law should be involved in isolated family blow-ups unless it was repeated or significant violence.
Zindel said some of the cases brought to court drove families apart, and blighted the futures of some people with convictions which could affect their careers or travel.
“I think perhaps we have lost our way a bit with over-prosecution of domestic violence, when diversion of more serious offences than some instances of domestic violence reportedly occurs more easily.
“I’m referring not to the serious, Once Were Warriors-type of cases but where some small element of physicality creeps into a banal domestic exchange, and where all concerned are content to let bygones be bygones.”
Sergeant John Maxwell, of Nelson, said the police stance was clear – violence was not acceptable.
Domestic violence differed from other violence because the offenders often lived together and had continued involvement with each other, he said. If domestic violence was not caught early, it could escalate and become more serious, and this was backed by statistics.
One must question Why offenders are prosecuted at all. The police can issue a “Saftey” warrent (Basically a 5 day PO) or does that not fit in with feminist leanings. But Note the cases thrown out, Females?
So, the police are going to march on to the pitch every time there is a bunch up on the rugby field. But then again they do have a referee who has an eye to the end game.
You can go and sign up for violence if you want to – join the army, get involved in boxing. Yes, you can risk your life to participate in that violence.
I have noticed recently when the women’s netball teams (which have an ongoing relationship with other teams) are in the same house they get a bit pushy too, more than a bit pushy, it even goes on after the game, they can’t even leave it on the field.
It is not hard to work the statistics out here but at least these people get to keep playing the game.
Statistics are a fascination to idiots and it seems in our case obligatory to march of an ideological law enforcement agency. [God defend our free land].
Forgive my jaded view but how I read this is that, a female is slapping a male then the caught as the judge says, ‘does not want to get involved in anything as minor as that’.
On the other hand a male slapping a female will bring on the wholly gender specific law of male assaults female and the judges dont see that as in anyway minor. And all the excuses given here that one had been baited badly or the other simply threw her arm back connecting with hubby’s face wouldnt apply
My opinion here is that some policeman has taken the rules that they have for domestic violence and through either inexperience or naievity tried to apply them to a female.Remember the confusion on the police 10-7 program from ages back when two policemen attended a domestic and then found it was the male who had been assaulted and they were at a loss as to how to proceed as their guidelines would have immediatley had him removed from the scene leaving the kids with mum but as this was not the case they offered him the option of having his kids taken in by cypfs if he wanted to proceed. (I think I saw this clip on here some time back)
This so much applies as the Pussy Pass in action, all the white knights racing to defend these poor women who have been caught up in the system unfairly. When a guy would be just another domestic violence statistic.
Yep. I proved in family court that i had been king hit in the face by the ex and the judge described this as “offending at the lower end of the scale” I wonder what interpretation would have been put on things if i had smacked her in the face as hard as i was capable?
You most certainly did see that Mits! So did I. I found it on line and bookmarked the link however it was removed soon after. I do not know what grounds CYF would have under the CYPF act (Supposedly Gender Neutral) to remove children in this circumstance.
I believe the Constable concerned had been brain washed to believe it. If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes accepted as the truth!
Not sure if this is an opprotunity for us to highlight our issues
Planned changes include letting public in on how they’re appointed, and annual report on what judiciary gets up to.
Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann. Photo / Dean Purcell
Judges are facing the biggest overhaul of accountability in decades, with the Cabinet considering legal changes that would compel the judiciary to publish annual reports, bring transparency to judicial appointments and attempt to stem criticism washing up against the bench.
The changes being considered by ministers today will see the 115-year-old Judicature Act updated to modernise a branch of state that has come under fire from some.
A Herald-DigiPoll survey has found 53 per cent of those polled have “high confidence” in judges. In contrast, 38 per cent said they had “big concerns”.
TAKE PART: You be the judge: What sentence would you give?
Nearly half did not express confidence in the judiciary. This has caused concern in judicial and political circles and contrasts with the World Justice Project “Rule of Law Index”, which ranked New Zealand’s judicial system among the top 10 in the world.
Article continues below
The Herald’s coverage of the proposed law changes begin a week-long investigation into judicial accountability. The investigation has revealed deep concerns within the judiciary over public access to the workings of the courts and understanding of judges’ decisions.
The series will investigate the source of criticism of judges and report views from inside the courts, including concerns by judges over the lack of funding for the judiciary and the lack of control of funding.
Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann and Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue, who both expressed concern over the poll findings, have endorsed greater public access to the courts and court information. They also raised funding of the court system as an issue, saying it was being starved of money which would allow greater openness.
They also called for greater “civics” education in schools on the way New Zealand society functions, giving citizens a deeper understanding of the three branches of government – the judiciary, Parliament and government. The division of power between judges, MPs and ministers is intended to protect the rights of citizens.
The law changes the Cabinet will consider today are a rare exertion of influence over the judiciary but also reflect a mood for change. They stem from a report by the Law Commission, the government body set up to develop and review law.
Commission president Sir Grant Hammond, a judge of 20 years, said there was growing interest from the public in how the courts functioned and the role of the judiciary.
“It’s not just nosy-parkerishness. It is a genuine interest. We want a well-functioning society where these things are being dealt with transparently.”
The changes mooted by the commission include an annual report from the judiciary presented by Chief Justice Sian Elias which would detail the business of the courts. The changes would also see the Attorney-General’s process for appointing judges clearly spelled out in law.
Sir Grant said: “The process has not been sufficiently transparent. And some attorneys have not used the same criteria. In the past it did look like a tap on the shoulder.”
He said the judiciary also needed to develop clear rules for the removal of judges from cases. “There wasn’t a sufficiently established process for dealing with [this],” said Sir Grant.
Justice Minister Judith Collins said she expected most of the commission’s suggestions would be accepted by the Cabinet, giving the public greater understanding of judicial decisions. Some of the criticism of judges was ill-informed “and it is better if people have information”.
“Just as ministers are held accountable, I think it is important that public funding and public expectations are able to be well informed rather than uninformed.
“I think the public absolutely has a right to know about how our judicial system is functioning and I don’t think that having anything less than transparency around it is going to help people understand what judges do.”
#s 3 and 5. mits and Gwahir. If you type Police 10-7 into the search box on this site, the video is still viewable in the menz story. It used to be on youtube but there were lots of comments about the NZ Police being sexist and it was removed. I can only speculate as to who put pressure on youtube to remove it …..
One thing to note in the story is that both the cases before the Court highlight offences being committed by females. Had it been where a man had slapped a woman he would be dragged through hot coals all the way to Court. I believe Police Safety Orders are a great tool, but are only able to be issued when no offences have been committed at any particular incident. If someone has hit someone or committed any other offence they cannot be issued. Domestic Violence in New Zealand is a serious problem and I do not see any change to the number of cases being out before the Court anytime soon.
A woman who made up a story about being sexually violated in the Maitai Valley, performed a sex act for money for the man she falsely accused.
Jessica Keane, 21, was sentenced in the Nelson District Court yesterday after admitting making a false complaint to police and an unrelated charge of obtaining by deception.
On February 15 Keane was in a distressed state at a Nelson home. She told a woman at the house she had been sexually assaulted by a man who picked her up while she was hitch-hiking from Nelson to Richmond.
As a result the woman called the police and Keane told police she was violated by the man in the Maitai Valley. Keane underwent a medical examination by medical staff as part of the police investigation.
Prosecutor Sergeant Graeme Eden said Keane was interviewed by police on February 16 and her statement was recorded on DVD.
The alleged assault was publicised in the media and the man who picked up the woman hitch-hiking came in and spoke to police.
The man told police he and Keane agreed that she would perform a sexual act on him for money.
Eden said police spoke to her on March 6 and admitted she had lied.
Keane said her explanation about why she was distressed came out wrong, and she had tried to stop the woman from calling police.
Lawyer Mark Dollimore said Keane accepted the summary of facts and also accepted that the charge was serious.
He said Keane was young and naive and at the time of the February offending she had been living under the Appleby Bridge with a group – in a “car village”.
She accepted she was running with the wrong crowd. She was now back living with her mother out of Nelson, and had prospects of a job.
Dollimore said on the day of the incident Keane and her friends were looking for a place to live.
She was picked up by the man and and taken to the Nelson Hospital area.
Dollimore said there was a time gap and Keane was later picked up by the same man on Waimea Rd. Dollimore said the man might have been waiting for Keane or looking for her.
He said the man picked up Keane and suggested she might like to earn some money for a sexual favour.
Keane agreed and they went to a forestry road in the Maitai Valley area where the “transaction took place”.
Keane was dropped back into town. The lies became out of control once she lied to the woman.
Judge Tony Zohrab convicted Keane and ordered her to pay $1656 reparation.
He said the offending was serious and had a “significant ripple effect” in the community.
Not only did it waste a lot of police time, it meant that police would be judging the next person who laid a similar complaint wondering if they were lying to them as Keane had.
People in the community who had read about the assault in the media were also worried that there was an offender out there.
Keane was also ordered to do 200 hours of community work.
– Ã‚Â© Fairfax NZ News
What? Only $1600 Reparation and 200 hours? Atleast her name was not supressed!
atleast she was charged a lot of the time they aren’t, it’s about time we had something set in law for thise offence. A standard punishment!.
It’s interesting that this story was published on ‘Stuff’ online but no other newspaper or media thought it worthy of publication.
And note, as usual, the judge’s only concerns about this woman’s offending were (i) it wasted police time, (ii) other women alleging sexual offences might not be believed as readily, and (iii) people in the community might have been worried there was an offender out there. No mention of the victim effects for the falsely accused man, everything from the time and hassle it cost him, to the anxiety and fear he will have suffered looking down the barrel of up to 20 years in prison (which could easily have happened under our laws that allow conviction and punishment of men based on nothing but a woman’s allegation), to the loss of the man’s privacy concerning private matters, to the damage to the man’s reputation given that his identity became known to the police, the woman’s associates and anyone else in the community those people talked to, and given that allegations like this cause dirt to stick regardless of their veracity. Oh no, there was no need to mention that this falsely accused man was a victim at all; after all, he’s only a man so who cares? It was unclear to whom the ‘reparation’ was to be paid but unlikely this would be the male victim (and it probably will never be paid anyway and she will eventually have it remitted, probably when sentenced for her next fraudulent offending).
And here’s some of the likely responses by the feminist man-haters:
1. “Oh sure, she retracted but that’s only because making complaints is so unpleasant for rape victims. Women don’t lie about rape and this woman was probably telling the truth from the outset.”
2. “This man obviously recognized that she was young and vulnerable and he used his finacial power to exploit her sexually, so he should be seen as a rapist anyway. Serves him right.”
3. “Women who make false allegations of sexual violence should never be prosecuted because their behaviour always reflects their mental health problems and/or sad history of abuse at the hands of men and shows they need help and understanding, and because prosecuting them will discourage real victims from coming forward.”
4. “A few men falsely convicted and punished is a small price to pay in order to ensure no true offenders get away with crimes against women. The old-fashioned principle that it’s better to let many accused walk free than to falsely convict one is simply another patriarchal idea that we can reject because feminists know better. (Oh, except that we should retain this principle when it comes to female accused, of course)”
5. “All men are rapists”
Note also that this woman’s lawyer described her as “young and naive” and as “running with the wrong crowd”. Yeah right, she was so naive that she was also facing an unrelated charge of obtaining by deception. And at 21 we should see her as not capable of taking adult responsibility for her behaviour.
Pussy passes all round thanks very much.
Results of studies which estimate the prevalence of domestic violence vary significantly, depending on specific wording of survey questions, how the survey is conducted, the definition of abuse or domestic violence used, the willingness or unwillingness of victims to admit that they have been abused and other factors. For instance, Straus (2005) conducted a study which estimated that the rate of minor assaults by women in the United States was 78 per 1,000 couples, compared with a rate for men of 72 per 1,000 and the severe assault rate was 46 per 1,000 couples for assaults by women and 50 per 1,000 for assaults by men. Neither difference is statistically significant. He claimed that since these rates were based exclusively on information provided by women respondents, the near-equality in assault rates could not be attributed to a gender bias in reporting.
@ 13 .. hah.. not a gender bias.. ??!!??.. am sure if men were interviewed the “near equality” of the stats would be much much more varied.. it would show violence with female perpetrators as significantly more.. PS stats shown by studies are often towards a bias from the beginning when they are trying to prove somethibng and hence are often made to look favourably towards the result they are trying to obtain. Whne this fails then a neutral “meeting in the middle” solution is shown as is by the Straus Study.. no need to take it seriously
Thanks for that useful summary Ben Wallace (#13). The wide variation in figures is mainly due to feminist advocacy ‘research’ showing appallingly low standards of scientific rigour. Studies involving good scientific standards generally show quite close agreement with each other. The feminst research is always based on self-report rather than objective data. Feminist claims about objective data almost always seem to consist of misrepresentation or lies (e.g. the Superbowl myth and the ongoing claim that domestic violence is a leading cause of death in US women). Typically, feminist ‘researchers’ use only women interviewers to subject only women interviewees to ‘semi-structured interviews’ that allow maximum opportunity to guide, suggest, encourage and manipulate in order to obtain the male-blaming responses sought. Interviewees’ responses are then processed by the same authors and/or interviewers and, surprise surprise, they are found to support the ideological beliefs those authors held. Important controls to increase the scientific rigour of the ‘study’ are inevitably absent, such as (i) controlling for confounding influences on the data (e.g. Were the subjects representative of their population or were they selected from an unrepresentative subgroup such as domestic violence shelters? Did subjects come to the interview with a sense of responsibility to provide the authors with suitable propaganda in support of downtrodden women everywhere?); (ii) validity checks (e.g. were there any medical or legal records to support subjects’ claims) and (iii) reliability checks (e.g. inter-rater reliability to see if analysis of the data was done systematically rather than haphazardly and subjectively). Most domestic violence statistics quoted by feminist groups are based on such dishonest ‘research’, and the only reason it is published in halfway reputable journals at all is because it is seen as politically correct to support the women’s movement. Sad but true, and the result is widespread acceptance of untruths that have grossly misguided laws, policies and culture.
Of note was the Q&A interview 12 May 2013 with Boshier (former fc chief judge). It has him doing his usual men bad women alway the victim stuff. He wants a separate charge and conviction for domestic violence. He also seemed to be saying women did not have enough protection and tools now in the legal system (read this as more action from the police).
I have actually laid a formal complaint with TV1 on this interview distortion of the domestic violence issue in NZ along with a serve at the followup article on Marae Investigate.
I have been out of this scene for a few years with only the occasional letter to the ed or attempt to get a bigger article published, on d.violence and gender issues in general. I had hoped the gender wars were dulling down…certainly feels a bit more balanced in everyday life…but this interview and Susan Wood’s failure to push him on any of his one-eyed views really dispelled that notion.
Mtnmax (#16): Well done for making a complaint to TV1 and I hope you take it further through the Broadcasting Standards Authority. Thanks for the time and effort; this kind of action is worthwhile and is gradually having a positive effect.
Who holds the moral high ground?
Female commentators should put caveates, or write about both sides of the fence!
Sydney paper on Sunday (Annabel Crabb);
“In a report released on Friday, based on interviews with 24,000 women, the World Health Organisation concluded that more than a third of all women will be physically or sexually abused at some point, usually by someone they know”.
Huffpost late last week;
“Female victims are often the focus of initiatives against domestic abuse.
But according to a 2010 report from the Centers for Disease Control, more than one in four men in the U.S. experience rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime, and one in seven men experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner”.
Add in the variables to statistics & not in the least attempting to be provocative,
How many women use the current social stigma/bias to unnaturally claim abuse (to themselves or children) to further their cause?
How many men DO NOT report spousal abuse because of the ‘absurdity’ of the notion and live with the effects of it (incl false allegations) during and after a relationship?
#1 Downunder “Budget 2014”
“The questions here:
Will more women in the Police make New Zealand a safer place?
Is the current Police budget being hijacked for the sake of jobs for the girls?
Is that what the public wants?”
Thanks for your great Question and work on this site Downunder
Trying to make female Police Officers the same as male Police Officers is on an intellectual level absurd. When a person needs to be man handled, that’s by description what society means. For domestic violence call outs having both a male and a female Officer in my opinion allows them to work together better to establish the truth, deal with issues such as medical attention, physical restraint and search, with greater effectiveness.
The male Officer can be taught to detect and understand the bullshit of the male.
The female Officer can be taught to detect and understand the bullshit of the female.
The male Officer can console, support, and guide the male.
The female Officer can console, support, and guide the female.
Having a Police force that races to the scene just to be Gun toting, Pepper spraying, Taser prodding thugs is absurd.
Having a Police force that races to the scene, like an ambulance, fully equipped with bandages and cures, to a mortally wounded family, is something that demands our respect.
It can only happen when Men and Women trust them, with their lives, and their children’s lives.
They will have contempt of them if they don’t. They will not call them until it’s to late, or at all (the neighbour calls). As it is today, and tomorrow, until the culture changes.
Women in workforces moderate the humanity, and behaviour’s of men, for the good of all of us.
Don’t use the example of our politicians and executive bureaucrats as the standard, or expected behaviour for the police. Joe Bloggs (not sexually specific) Police Officers, are in the vast majority of cases just ordinary people like you and me. They desire to be good, and need good guidance and support.
Is it presently a Police FORCE
Or is it a Police SERVICE
“Women in workforces moderate the humanity, and behaviour’s of men, for the good of all of us.”
Putting women on a pedestal I see.
Dangerous nonsense IMO.
No pedestal, just scientific research. Especially research that looks at closed environment’s like spaceships. And my own experiences in life, being part of a workforce that had virtually no females, to one where females are now becoming normalised in the workforce. I get great self worth, mentoring female graduates in finding their place in our modern workforce. Our youth see sexism as an old fashioned idiocy. That’s why we have youth disengaging from politics. They think current politicians are just fools.
TMIA, I don’t share your experience, except to see men cowed into being overly polite by PC culture.
Men in spaceships hypothesis – not science. Military types conditioned by years of indoctrination into chivalry.
One could just as easily point to all male communities of monks who are extremely humane with not a single woman in sight.
I think if we view women as a civilizing force for men we’re being terribly harsh on men and sucking up to women. If we’re making women into some sort of morally superior being, then we’re well on the road to making men comparatively less valuable and so relatively disposable.
I have suffered indignities at the inhumane hands of women, than no person should suffer.
I have suffered indignities at the inhumane hands of men, than no person should suffer.
I have suffered indignities at the inhumane hands of society that no person should suffer.
I remain despite this, resolute in my compassion for them.
I see the potential for them all to be great.
I look at my own prejudices, and lavish the punishment of shame upon myself for them.
When you see those experiences that hurt you, plant your feet on the ground and say NO to them.
Others will fight my corner that the Men in spaceships hypothesis is established fact.
If being a Monk is where you feel you will find self worth, become one. It is itself inhumane so that they feel suffering from it, so that they can feel compassion, and love without prejudice. They are men of peace just as Nuns are women of peace.
Is the mother not needed by the child, has she no value, should we not respect and love her.
Is the father not needed by the child, has he no value, should we not respect and love him.
PC crap is the resultants of FEAR. STOP IT. Examine your fears, and those others impose on you. Understand them so you can climb the mountain and see the promised land.
Another poem from 20 years ago, think it may help, many meanings
Help up the wounded
Battle scars and bruises
Cannon fire from a distance
All coming to near
Driven by fear
To problems and cares
Mistakes been and made
Help up the wounded
Escape from the stares
Close the door
And let him stumble in the darkness
The man in Absentia,
you claim –
‘Women in workforces moderate the humanity, and behaviour’s of men, for the good of all of us.’
So you’ll be advocating for a new law that all NZ companies have female employees in order to moderate the humanity and behaviors of men eh? Wonderful women and sick buggers those men eh?
No women must decide for themselves what they want to do for a living, just as you should have the same choice. The law already exists. You are not allowed to discriminate against a job applicant based on their sex.
One example I saw in a newspaper was a accountancy firm with a picture of all the employees. 10 workers who were all female. If the odds were 50:50 that a position was to be filed by a male. then the odds that this was possible without the owner being a man hating bigot is 1:1024. They should be censured for this behaviour. It is unreasonable and clearly overtly Biased.
The exception would be if no, or nearly no men studied accountancy. By choice, and not excluded by bigotry by the Ministry of Education. That may alter the odds.
Just as a all women jury examined by the same principle is 1:4096
But with all men being sex offending, women bashing mongrels, maybe its statisticaly OK. NOT!
Do I have to answer the same question again? You want equality? based on facts? or your version of it? like Jan Logie but in reverse?
Maybe I am the only true Feminist?
If you know what the word actually describes.
Just re-done the maths
Took into account 50% of females have gone into partners back accounts without their knowledge and stolen money. Disqualifying them from being jurors.
All women jury odds is 1:16,777,216
Have not taken into account the falsifying of birth certificates or the female version of rape.
There is not enough atoms in the universe to represent those jury odds.
sorry legal system, did I just throw out all conviction’s again, again, and again.
Yes all those fraudster women giving testimony, honest women?, well good at pretending.
Aided by corrupt prosecutors running personnel scoreboards, and matey mate defence lawyers just there for the pay check. Failing to defend men by exposing the illegitimacy of testimony.
You omitted the fact that some 15,000 women in this country are suffering severe mental illness, severe enough that in the opinion of two qualified medical practitioners, justifies the intentional murder of an unborn child.
You forgot that the female gets 10 hours of free counselling to decide to have the child or not to have the child. A Government funded service. Subject to the Human Rights Act
The teenage father gets the Ministry of Health’s middle finger.
When they want the child, and the mother kills it.
When they don’t want the child, and the mother has the child.
Human rights violating, sex offending, man hating, suicide assisting bigots!