Sunday, October 30, 2005

Nice day for kite-flying

Newbie Police Minister Annette King has thought out loud about contracting some police work out to the private sector. Predictably, this has gone down like a cup of cold sick with Police Association head honcho Greg O'Connor. As it should. Let's look at a few other policy hassles.

1. Annette King's time as Health Minister saw precious little effort towards contracting out to the private sector. The preferred method to reduce waiting lists was to tighten the criteria. So why the sudden enthusiasm for privatisation now?

2. The problem of defining core and non-core health services stalled at the gate. Dividing the police services between sworn and non-sworn positions will be infinitely more hazardous to everyone's well-being. Defence lawyers will have a field day ripping apart prosecution cases based on evidence contaminated by private contractor collusion.

3. Contracting police jobs out to the private sector is counter to the same Labour ideology which killed off Auckland's privately-run remand prison. If it's not OK for private prisons, how in the hell can one justify rent-a-cops?


While we're on the subject of law & order, readers may have noticed my vitriol on the SFO's idea to remove the Right to Silence over at DPF's. I see this argument on the same slippery slope as the Nats' policy on DNA testing every person arrested. New Scientist has an interesting story on how DNA testing resulted in a false-positive due to a bone marrow transplant. As DNA databanks get bigger, you can be certain that many innocent citizens will be convicted for crimes they haven't committed.