Source: NZ Police Association
The New Zealand Police Association considers the IPCA report on bullying, culture and related issues within Police, to be a fair assessment of the current situation in that it identifies the key problem areas, the progress Police has recently been making, and the way forward from here.
“Complaints from our members about a negative culture and bullying are always of serious concern and need to be addressed whenever and wherever they occur. We note that the IPCA has found bullying is not pervasive across Police as a whole. Rather, there are pockets of poor behaviour along with many strong and positive cultures,” Police Association President Chris Cahill says.
“That said, for those who come to the association, and those who have either made a complaint or provided the IPCA with information in confidence, what they have gone through, and may still be dealing with, is very real.”
“We know this from our own survey data, and the information from the IPCA/Police InMoment survey results in this report backs that up,” Mr Cahill says.
“The most disappointing aspect of this report is the degree of consensus that diversity of thought is not encouraged within Police, when it is this very quality that has the potential to be the biggest asset of New Zealand Police.”
The seven common themes identified in the IPCA report are indicative of the negative complaints the association receives formally, or is aware of.
“When you add a negative workplace to the stresses of policing, the consequences can be severe. We know that finding themselves marginalised, intimidated, up against an autocratic style or caught in the midst of inappropriate office culture pose serious threats to the mental health of our members,” Mr Cahill says.
“That is why this report is valuable. It lays out the next steps for Police in an ongoing process that they must stay committed to.”
The IPCA report builds on the work that Police has already started with the acceptance of the recommendations of the Francis Review including making vast improvements in the new appointments process, replacing the vilified ‘Speak Up’ complaint process with a new approach under Kia Tū, and the improvement in leadership training which will have the biggest impact on Police culture.
“From here, the association will be focused on holding Police to account in the implementation of the change process already evolving under the leadership of the current commissioner,” Mr Cahill says.