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New look for Wellington Police District Custody Unit

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington Police District Custody Unit (DCU) is running an art competition where the winning entries will be used to cover the hall walls in the cell block.

Entries are open to anyone throughout New Zealand, not just Wellingtonians and prize money is up for grabs.

The idea for the competition came from the supervisor of the DCU, Senior Sergeant Stu Taylforth, who says, "It is important that we hold people accountable for their behaviour but we need to change the prisoner experience and support them to change their behaviours.

"The theme for the art competition is ‘Awhi’, which means help and to embrace in Maori.

Awhi is the name of a referral program that is being introduced into the Wellington District to help people and prevent them from becoming a statistic," he says.

"If people need help with alcohol or drug addiction a referral will be made to the right agencies.

If someone continues to be stopped for not having a driving license then a referral can be made to an agency who can help them get their license.

"All entries should focus on artwork that make the custody unit safer for staff by improving the prisoner experience, reducing stress, and breaking down barriers.

"Our vision is to make the custody unit safer for staff, and to improve the prisoner experience.

"We want to engage with prisoners and support them to change their behaviours.

How entrants to the art competition decide to interpret that in an artistic way, is up to them," says Senior Sergeant Taylforth. The competition is being supported by the Wellington City Council and The Police Leaders Guild.

The judges for this competition are:

- Nicola Young, Councillor for Arts and Culture, Wellington City Council

- Inspector Tracey Thompson, Area Commander, Kapiti-Mana, Wellington Police

- Inspector Brett Amas, District Support Operations Manager, Wellington Police

- Representative from a local Iwi

Here are some rules around the art competition:

- Each entry should be submitted naming the artwork, artist, the year, and a maximum of 60 words describing the meaning of the artwork.

This information will be printed and fixed to walls alongside those artworks selected for printing.

- 15-20 artworks will be chosen for display.

- The artworks will be printed in vinyl using a 4-colour process, 841mm x 1189mm, maximum submission file size 30MB.

- A New Zealand contact address must be provided to enable a Police photographer to visit and take high resolution photographs of selected entries.

- Artwork viewed as offensive or threatening will not be considered.

- All entries must be submitted via email to sends e-mail) by 31 October 2019.

- Competition winners will be decided by 27 November 2019.

- Selected artists will be invited to a presentation at Wellington Central Police Station on 7 December 2019 where the top three artists will be presented prize money.

- All photographs taken of the artworks will be the property of the New Zealand Police and the supporters of this competition.

These images will be able to be used in any manner they see fit.

Media note: Please contact Jillian.Reid@police.govt(link sends e-mail) for a high resolution file of the competition flier if required for copy/print purposes

Caption for photo: Authorised Officers (AOs) Ervin Garde (left) and Matthew Page from the Wellington District Custody Unit waiting for some winning art to arrive

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