October 2007

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Student winners present to bosses

Police bosses were impressed with three secondary school students who presented their winning essays to the Police Executive meeting in Auckland in late August.

The trio were selected as the winners in an essay competition held as part of the review of the 1958 Police Act.

135 entries were received on the topic: “If there was one thing you’d change about how policing is done in New Zealand, what would that be, and why?”

First prize went to Jehan Casinader, Year 13, Hutt International Boys’ School, Upper Hutt.

His essay began “Batons, blood, bureaucracy and the blue line” and is a look at the need, as he sees it, to “restore the human face of the police”.

Second prize was awarded to Alexander Simmonds, Year 11, Auckland International College.

Alexander tackled the subject of community policing, concluding Police need “to be proactive in becoming more intimately involved with the community they serve” if they are to re-strengthen “the bonds of trust between the Police and the public”.

Third prize went to Elizabeth Youard, Year 12, Riccarton High School who believes Police “as a role model of our society ... can take the opportunity to put the community back into communities.”

Elizabeth summed this up with the lines “by getting out there, into the community they serve, police can perform a task no one else can. They can bring people together and promote a closer society”.

After presenting their essays, the three winners took part in a discussion with the Executive about the topics raised.

Police Commissioner Howard Broad then presented awards to the trio before the Executive joined them for morning tea.

The officer leading the review of the Police Act, Superintendent Hamish McCardle, says the secondary school essay competition provided a way of hearing the youth voice and their ideas on the future of policing in New Zealand.

“The majority of essayists touched on the central role Police play in the community, and the need to maintain the trust and confidence of the public.

“The three winners brought a considered and thoughtful analysis to the task, and provided some good challenges for Police to connect more closely with communities and youth,” Hamish says.

The winning essays are available on the Police Act website.

Police Commissioner Howard Broad, with the three Police Act Review

essay competition winners, from left: Elizabeth Youard, Alexander Simmonds

and Jehan Casinader. Photo: North Shore Times

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