Police ping unlicensed drivers while they are at church

unlicensed drivers

Hundreds of people have been identified by police as not having a drivers’ licence while attending church services in South Auckland.

They have been offering the unlicensed drivers free courses instead of giving them tickets.

Police say the campaign is necessary in order to reduce offending rates.

More than a quarter of all court proceedings against Pasifika people are for road and vehicle-related crimes.

It is part of a “prevention-first” approach,  police Pasifika national strategy launched a year ago: O Le Taeao Fou, Dawn of a New Day.

However, not everyone is happy about the strategy.

O Le Taeao Fou, Dawn of a New Day.  identifies some of the key crime and safety issues Tamaki Makaurau Pacific Responsiveness manager Willi Fanene said.

He also said it was an initiative rolled out across Tamaki Makaurau and not just south Auckland.

Fanene said it is not a new method and it is one of their most common ways of engaging with Pasifika people.

“Our officers regularly engage with our Pasifika community through the church.”

Auckland councillor Efeso Collins says the tactic is misguided.

“The police decision to have roaming armed cops on the streets of Manukau, alongside the offer of driver licensing programmes in churches, is irreconcilable in my view.”

“I find it incredulous (sic) that they now want to sing hymns with parishioners at Sunday mass.”

Collins said the same outcomes can be achieved by forwarding driver licence-programme information to be disseminated at schools and youth groups.

Police say ministers they have liaised with have been grateful for the opportunity, but some church leaders aren’t convinced.

Reverend Frank Ritchie said he understood what police were doing but there was a better way to go about it.

“I think a better way to go about it would have been to organise something like a community event.”

“I’m against anything that encroaches on that Sunday space and that feeling of safety that people have.”


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