The New Zealand police for the last 30 years has faced an unfriendly and an unprofessional police culture that has infringed on both the rights of fellow police offices and those of the society as a whole. This culture of open and fear less sexual misconduct and harassment of women through rape and other forms of sexual assaults. Reports indicate that most of the alleged perpetrators of these violence are high ranking policemen like the police commissioner himself. In the year 2007, the police commissioner gave findings on changing the police culture to give confidence to the public on the utility of the New Zealand police.
There rests several critical elements that could hinder successful implementation of the recommendations by Margaret Bazley commission. First and foremost, I think the time lapse when the New Zealand police had started committing these types of insults had created a different culture amongst them. Culture in this respect means a shared organizational values and beliefs as well as norms that guide the action of individuals. Most of it was concentrated within the police force itself with policewomen victims of their colleagues. This is a major critical point towards the implementation of the police culture change.
It therefore needs to be taken on board to achieve results for the New Zealand police and their acceptable conduct. In addition to this, the tradition that what they used to do was right according to them it portrayd a major challenge to abandon such behaviors. Their socialization and mental orientation become a stumbling block to a swift adoption of a crime free police force. Changing a culture is a process that needs time and it goes in steps. The other challenge is engraved on leadership and the wide spread misconduct of the police force across all ranks up to the commissioner.
This goes ahead to crimes committed in the vicinity of the police commissioner and no action is taken. This confirms that down to the juniors, the situation is incomparable. For there to be positive change, I think there must be a radical move that exempts none of the alleged victims. The biggest problem now arises on who among them arrests the victims. Organizational culture involves status assumption in organizations with the leaders being assumed to be role models. With the findings of the investigate magazine, it reaffirms that only top ranking police officers were the perpetrators of sexual violence against their colleagues.
A police cover is the worst the police can ever trade with on matters of public interest. In most organizations, bureaucracy is the order and that this cannot be assumed neither altered. This is even terrible because it exist with the top ranking officers since they are the source if information to the public. The lack of a purely independent investigative body of handling police complaints against their fellow officers. It is very hard for the police force to investigate itself on matters of social injustice. Even the government itself cannot perform because it still has to protect the reputation of its workers.
It is only a body with no vested interests that can give results on dealing with complaint of the police force. The formation of a body with powers to investigate past crimes committed by the police force meant that the current and the ongoing were lawful to be put on hold awaiting investigation. The long procedural process of going back to 1980s up to 2007 gives the police a lot of confidence in terrorizing their colleagues due to the lack of immediacy in handling the allegations that arise. This is because culture unites people psychologically and includes a mission to meet.
The threats to successful implementation of the recommendation is the diversity of offenses by the New Zealand policemen. Most officers are alleged to have committed several offenses. Dewar for example was convicted of four charges. It calls for the police commissioner to take radical steps in resolving the conflict since he is part of the problem. None of the junior police officers can accept to be prosecuted unless the police commissioner starts. Based on their previous culture it is hard for them to break the already held norms.
It even goes further such that those officers convicted of crimes threaten to resign then it becomes hard to eradicate the culture. The formation of the “independent complain authority” cannot achieve if the police are not willing. Who will report those cases if the police themselves are already held in one culture? The police commissioner, Mr. Howard Broad was forced to respond to his own allegations of misconduct. He was affected positively and negatively as a leader. On the positive approach, he must have felt challenged that as a role model he had failed his juniors.
The best was to try to avoid such suspicious allegations and promise to take responsibility of implementing the entire culture change. The trait theory puts it clearly that leadership is founded on personality. As a human being like any other and having been in a situation of an engraved culture over along time makes him fall in some uncalled for mistakes. However, his colleagues look at him like a teacher. He is very willing to a successful implementation of the recommendation though in a challenging environment.
The police commissioner need to take his allegations of his misconduct and reaffirm his colleagues that he is ready to lead like a an example. Leadership is situational so he needs to work hard and give results on culture change. The greatest work ahead of the commissioner is to ask for corporation from the rest of the police. The government has the duty to get a competent person to lead the culture change in the police if Mr. Broad’s efforts are declared inconsequential. Mr. Broad as a leader is fully committed to preserving the reputation of the police however he may be thought of having committed a social misconduct.
He says that his role as a police commissioner is to cement the reputation for performance and integrity within the police. This shows how much confident he is in dealing with the scenario. On the other hand, the allegations made on the police commissioner affects his ability negatively. Being the head, many of his junior officers may not take the initiative to listen to his advice. Such will divide the police to those who are loyal to the commissioner and those who are the direct opposite of his commands.
This is likely to make work hard for Broad in implementing the recommendations. The inability of Mr Broad to take any action on a pornographic movie shown in his house shows how he is covering his friends. This is likely to persist with other high ranking officers not unless his case brings justice to the aggrieved parties. Here Broads ability is depicted as a failure and even leading the culture change may be hard for him based in people’s knowledge of his behavior. Regarding his personality as the lead team in the culture change, Mr Broad has two wars to fight.
First, as the police commissioner he has the role of being an example to the whole New Zealand police. They are supposed to view him as a symbol of unity and service to protect the people of New Zealand. On the other hand, he has the duty to protect the reputation of the whole force on the public and give confidence to the public on their commitment to serving them. From the case leading culture change in New Zealand, there are lessons on the issues of managing culture change. Several issues need to be taken into consideration in the process of reforming persistent behaviors.
The interest of reforming the police should be based in recognition of collective attitude of the organization as a whole and sideline the attitude of individual officers. The police need to find evidence on misconduct by some police officers and legally deal with officers condoning inappropriate sexual activity. The New Zealand police management lacked inappropriate policies, procedures and practices to deal with unending cases of sexual misconduct. This encompass the unavailability of standards of work amongst the front line staff. This is a shorcoming of many organizations.
According to the inquiry done by Bazley, it found that standards varied across police Districts. This inconsistency resulted to the unavailability of procedures to deal with them. To address this, there needs to be drafted code of conduct for sworn police officers. The quality of investigation is vital in handling complaints against police officer’s. The complaints process on the police should be made public top enhance public confidence on the police. Prompt handling of the complaints is vital in radically driving the culture change. However, the force lacks resources to publicize its findings.
The government of New Zealand has the duty to invest in the Public Complaints Authority for it to perform its duties. Changing culture of a police force is a process that also involves sustaining public confidence in the police. Police officers need to adhere and demonstrate standards of ethical and moral behavior. The police management system should comprise technocrats in administration who understand culture and organizational leadership. The management has to portray competence in handling police matters and maintaining a culture that supports police standards.
This kind of management is supposed to break the strong bonding amongst the police which hinders them investigate their colleagues. The issue of on duty an off duty remain a problem among the New Zealand police. According to leadership theories, a leader remains a leader to at all costs and that he has a duty to those he leads. With such concerns, the male dominated force needs to view the work of the police to be a full, time job with responsibilities to meet. This operates by enhancing public confidence on the police.
Courtney from Study Moose
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