South Auckland rangatahi oppose idea of more armed police in community

  • 12/05/2022
The Government recently announced a $600 million package for the justice sector.
The Government recently announced a $600 million package for the justice sector.

Some rangatahi are opposing the idea of more armed police in their communities after the Government announced a $600 million package for the justice sector.

The funding will be used over the next four years to help business owners protect themselves against ram raids, put more frontline police on the street and provide more tactical training, weapons and equipment for Armed Offenders Squads.

Manukau Ward Councillor Alf Filipaina said it's going to be a good thing for the community.

"It's twofold too; to improve the safety of frontline police - the workforce, and communities."

The package was announced in Manukau and Filipaina said this is because most of the armed offenders incidents over the last three years have been in south Auckland. 

Since 2018, 92 people have been killed in firearms incidents but only 10 of these incidents happened in south Auckland.

Filipaina was a police officer in south Auckland for over 14 years and said his time in the job showed him the positive impact police have on a community.

"I know it works. That's the frontline policing that I'm talking about and what this budget is for." 

He also said he hopes aiga will introduce their children to officers to help them feel less afraid.

"I look forward to those blue uniforms on the street. Talking to our kids, our tamariki, our rangatahi, our young ones, I really do."

Pacific Media Network spoke to some rangatahi in Manukau to get their thoughts about the announcement.

Juliett, a 19 year old Manukau resident who did not want to share her last name, said she has mixed feelings about it.

"More police presence is good, but I don't know about having armed officers."

Sarah Toka is also 19 and lives in Manukau.

She said she doesn't mind more frontline police if they have a positive influence on the community, but the money would be better off going towards "other problems within the community".

However, she doesn't like the idea of more Armed Offenders Squad officers.

"I don't think it's necessary at all because there are a lot of people who are already afraid of the police", she said. 

Emily McGechie, another Manukau resident, is 20 years old and is uncertain about more frontline police officers.

"I personally don't think it will necessarily benefit our community but if it's done well then yes, I could agree with that."

She also said she disagrees with the Government's decision to arm more police.

"We should be feeling safe in NZ but if you're gonna arm everyone, it's just going to cause more people to want to be armed for the safety of themselves...I don't think it's necessary".