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Minister needs to defend police against 'Guantanamo Bay/Racist' comments - SST

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

"Multiple officers have contacted Sensible Sentencing Trust with frustration and anger at the accusations and judgements being made about the use of spit-hoods on young offenders," says Darroch Ball co-leader of Sensible Sentencing Trust.

"Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft compared police use of spit-hoods with "Guantanamo Bay" and ‘justice advocate’ Julian Whaipooti’s accused police of exhibiting structural racism because of overrepresentation of Maori teens in the statistics."

"What’s the most disappointing of all is the fact that the Minister of Police Poto Williams has not made any comments on the accusations."

"Becroft stated that the use of spit-hoods on teenagers was ‘profoundly concerning’ and ‘should be abolished’, yet on average they were used only 25 times a year - and the only ones who are overrepresented in being put in a spit-hood are those who spit and bite."

"They are clearly used as a very last resort for dangerous and out of control behaviour by aggressive offenders."

"Becroft and Whaipooti should be lambasting the parents of these teenagers first and foremost, the family environments and communities they live in, and dare I say it - the gangs they associate with, says Mr Ball.

"If these young offenders are forced to wear a spit-hood, it is likely this isn’t their first violent association with police, and it certainly isn’t any sort of behaviour that anyone should be accepting - or worse making excuses for."

"Poto Williams needs to address this issue and back the Police Association and frontline officers."

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