One too many but better than none


At least 67 serving police staff have been arrested in the past three years.

That is disappointing but it’s not all bad:

Police Association president Greg O’Connor said the figures clearly showed that police did not look after their own – in fact they did the opposite.

”If there were no police officers being arrested and charged ever, I think the public would have rightfully more concern that there was covering up. No-one who has had anything to do with police – particularly lawyers who look after police officers – would ever say anything other than they’re absolutely and utterly thorough.”

Mr O’Connor said many of the cases highlighted by the figures would have been found not guilty by the courts because had the offender been a civilian, he or she probably would not have been charged.

And he reiterated that not all of those arrested were employed as police but were police staff.

”But even one is too many,” Mr O’Connor said.

Even one is too many, but none could signal corruption.

In some countries police and the legal system might turn a blind eye to any of their own who transgressed.

That that doesn’t happen here is a sign that New Zealand’s regular top place in the world  corruption perception index  is based on reality.

Relatively better isn’t the same as good


New Zealand tops Transparency International’s 2009 corruption perception index.

The others in the top 10 are: Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands and Australia, Canada and Iceland which are 8th equal.

The countries at the bottom are: Chad, Iraq, Sudan, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Corruption is a form of oppression and this map shows how widespread it is:

While it’s good to be relatively good, what really matters is not how good we are perceived to be relative to anyone else but how good we are fullstop.

A score of 9.4 does mean we’re perceived to be pretty good.

That makes it more likely that other countries and other people will trust us and our institutions.

But we need to be vigilant to ensure that reality matches the perception.

Hat tip: Poneke.

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