Police operation unite

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Rats's picture
Rats
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Dec 15 2009 14:38
Police operation unite

Strangely enough last weekend police were out in-force in party-ing hot spots not only across all of australia, but also in new zealand. It was really strange. Is there a reason behind aus/nz police collaborating internationally other than pretending to stop 'violent crime'? I wonder. They've never done anything like this before. We know it was the police were just flexing their muscle, but across every juristiction in two countries?

It was only once we got to the pub we found out "sorry, but you can't bring backpacks inside, oh, and that bag of chips has to stay out too.."
The backpacks thing i didn't care about we put them in someones car, but i briefly got denied entry for making fun of the idea that i was smuggling in drugs or weapons amongst snacks. Watch out! They're ruffled!

People told me the cops got given extra powers, similar to the ones they get in laws like protected security act: http://www.austlii.com/au/legis/sa/consol_act/psa2007256/ but i haven't been able to find any information on this. If anyone can or read something somewhere can they post it here.

I found this article too when looking for news on police powers, does the SMH usually have class conscious opinion articles?
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/grog-crops-and-social-control-20091214-kr9t.html

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Joseph Kay
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Dec 15 2009 14:54

tbh as there's no obvious ulterior motive to spend money hassling clubbers they probably just had vague intelligence that an attack was planned with backpack bombs on a bar or something, if they ignored it and got Bali mkII then critics would go to town. or maybe it was some kind of joint excercie premissed on the above.

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LeftResistance
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Dec 15 2009 21:43

Not sure, but these 'extra powers' are being properly 'tested' in Newcastle (where I live) on New Years eve, so i'll let you know if I see the riot bacon beating the shit outta people.

Rats's picture
Rats
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Dec 16 2009 06:34
Joseph Kay wrote:
vague intelligence that an attack was planned with backpack bombs on a bar

Well their focus was a crackdown on 'drunken violent and anti-social crime' not terrorism. Most of the arrests were 'summary offences', things like drunk and disorderly, taking a wizz in public, drink driving, driving while high, walking out of a bar with a drink, drinking underage, carrying drugs, carrying a weapon maybe, aswell as not moving when police tell you to, and there was probably lots of people for telling the cops to fuck off. In NSW someone punched out a cop.

I think new recruits would have come out of academies around now, maybe they were just trying to break them in?

Also happening in NZ is this: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2009/0045/19.0/DLM2136536.html
Search and surveillance bill.

riot_dude
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Dec 16 2009 06:52

Like Gabs noted: this definetely does not appear to be something focussing on stopping a perceived vague terrorist threat, but as a 'show of force' against 'anti-social behaviour', drunkenness, etc.

Within the current Melbourne context this makes sense as the media has been carrying on non-stop for a number of months now about the drunken crime/fights 'epidemic' in the CBD (regardless of incidents of violent assaults actually dropping to my understanding). A visible police 'crackdown' needed to occur to appear to be doing something.
Having said that, this wasn't the first 'crackdown' recently in Melbourne, there has been a number of these weekend blitzs over the past year or so.

As to the nation-wide co-ordination of such a blitz...I'm not so sure. It sounds like the Police are seeking to extend their power nationwide.
I know they have in Victoria. This bill has now been past...
http://www.theage.com.au/national/police-to-have-power-to-stripsearch-at-random-20091128-jy0e.html

As has Local Law 8 in Yarra City Council, banning public drinking, targetting indigenous peoples and others too poor to drink in the wanky cocktail bars in the area.

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Joseph Kay
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Dec 16 2009 08:50
Quote:
Like Gabs noted: this definetely does not appear to be something focussing on stopping a perceived vague terrorist threat, but as a 'show of force' against 'anti-social behaviour', drunkenness, etc.

fair enough, just makes the bag thing weird. guess cops will be cops...

Rats's picture
Rats
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Dec 16 2009 16:01

Personally what i'd like to see is the return of the suburban house party turned anti-police riot's of '07/'08.

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 16 2009 16:26
Joseph Kay wrote:
tbh as there's no obvious ulterior motive to spend money hassling clubbers...

Tbf, like any other public institution, the police has as one of its main prerogatives lobbying for an increased budget every 12 months, which sometimes means being inflammatory in order to provoke trouble which would justify their large budget.

Plus there are some mental high up cops who have an objective the normalisation of the kinda methods described in the OP, and much more. So it doesn't surprise me at all.

circle A-K's picture
circle A-K
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Apr 22 2010 07:45
Gabs wrote:
Strangely enough last weekend police were out in-force in party-ing hot spots not only across all of australia, but also in new zealand. It was really strange. Is there a reason behind aus/nz police collaborating internationally other than pretending to stop 'violent crime'? I wonder. They've never done anything like this before. We know it was the police were just flexing their muscle, but across every juristiction in two countries?

Operation Unite occurred in australia and new zealand because it is the brainchild of a transnational policing organisation, not the ozi state police or the feds (or their nz equivalents), but a joint policing research organisation called the Australian and New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) - i think it used to be called something else, like the Australasian Policing Research Centre or something.

Here is how ANZPAA defines themselves (from their website):

Quote:
About ANZPAA

Our Business


For over 100 years Australian and New Zealand police forces have combined efforts and knowledge to together improve community safety. ANZPAA takes cross-jurisdictional policing to the next level.

ANZPAA provides strategic policy and research advice and secretariat services on cross jurisdictional policing initiatives to help achieve policing excellence and enhance community safety throughout Australia and New Zealand.

ANZPAA is a non operational policing agency. Established in October 2007, ANZPAA is a joint initiative of the Australian and New Zealand Police Ministers and Commissioners.

Our Vision

Achieving excellence in Australian and New Zealand policing

Our Mission
ANZPAA will research, develop, promote and share strategic policing initiatives to enhance community safety in Australia and New Zealand

They go on about values etc.

The idea of a combined oz/nz operation might seem odd but it's very doable and not without precedent considering oz/nz's historic and contemporary ties/relationship (at a government level/law enforcement level), and cordial operational relationship (both are involved in policing the pacific for example, through RAMSI and other interventions - working with one another). I mean, the Australian Federal Police are really today anyway - a transnational force - and paramilitarisation in policing in both countires has led to fruther avenues for cooperation -in 'tactical exercises' - not all that different from the 'war games' both countries already cooperate in.

Moreover, the subject - alcohol related violence - read: public order and social policing, is one that has political currency for police management and politicans in both countries (in NSW for example, the police commissioner is an ardent catholic who regularly pontificates on the evils of alcohol - he frames it like it's the poster-issue for the present-day degeneration of our society/social culture/the family etc.).

In other words, nothing out of the ordinary for australasian policing or politics anyway. But perhaps interesting as representative of prevailing police management ideology in regards to a real social issue of today - i.e. they have identified a social problem (alcohol related violence) and are trying to fight this trend through a short intense period of giving people on the spot fines and running a few more hundred folks through the drug courts for possession >_>

As a policy it's not very likely to achieve its aims... i mean really? Coercion and threats of force are unlikely to challenge a violent social culture of alcohol overconsumption, but hey, they're just doing what they know. But it's also because of this idea (held by some amongst police management, represented by the comissioner where i live) that australia (and i guess nz) is approaching something of a national crossroads on alcohol and street violence, it's an example of police viewing themselves as 'protectors' - the 'thin blue line' - unappreciated moral actors struggling against a corrupt and violent society, to maintain 'our' social traditions, morality - 'the rule of law' etc.

On another note, this Operation was also a bit of a revenue raiser for the states, for example example in Victoria:

Quote:
Using new laws introduced on December 16 last year, police have issued 3110 $234 on-the-spot fines across the state.
Of these, 2702 were for being drunk, 239 for being drunk and disorderly, 96 for failing to move on after being directed to by police and 73 for behaving in a disorderly manner.

As well as an excuse for police to do what they do best, hassle young people (see: the 96 move on orders), Aboriginal people and the homeless (The same groups who have been disproportinately subjected to these sorts of laws in the past). So yeah, it's def a reactionary development to see things like public drunkeness back on the books in some form (a fine is better than getting locked up but hurts just the same) - because these sorts of laws are usually enforced discriminately.

bootsy
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Apr 23 2010 01:16

This is pretty interesting, I didn't end up going out this weekend so I hadn't heard anything about it until now. I will ask around though to get an idea if the police presence was noticeable here in Wellington, as we do have quite a large bar and club culture.

The search and surveillance bill is actually damned scary, it gives all government agencies including work and income (WINZ) a lot more power. Unfortunately many of the activist groups who have been trying to organize around this focused primarily on how it will effect activists in the future, an important issue but certainly not one the vast majority of people can easily relate to. In fact this bill will likely affect many people. Furthermore I have to feel that the further militarization of our police force is somewhat related to the attacks on the dole which I just mentioned in this thread.

Kicking people off the dole will almost certainly result in a more pronounced problem with drug dealing, primarily cannabis and pure-methamphetamine. I'm not sure how it is in Australia, but here in NZ pot dealing is a pretty decentralized industry due to the widespread availability of the stuff, so plenty of young people will do small time dealing without needing solid links to the more well-established criminal organizations. From what I understand pure-meth (we call it P here) is pretty cheap and easy to make so the situation may be similar.

With prisons also being privatized I would expect a major government pogrom against the dregs of the unemployed many of whom, after being kicked off the dole, will more than likely begin taking to small time dealing and other petty-criminal activity. I should also point out that, true to their tory routes, the current government came in on a law and order platform. The crime issue was given an especially inflated place by the media in the lead up to the election, despite the fact that crime stats were in reality pretty low.

Finally, the ranks of the NZ military were completely full last year for the first time in quite a while. Likewise the police have had a drive to get more recruits, so perhaps this is partly an attempt by NZ and Aus police to collectively flex their muscles in order to increase their budgets and prepare for the future repression necessary in dealing with the unemployment problem.

edit: this article is about the increasing numbers of defense recruits, of course related to the recession. Take note of this paragraph:

Quote:
The review conducted by Rod Deane – nicknamed Dr Death for his experience in cutting costs in the public sector – will look to free up about $50 million a year to help the armed forces cope with tight budgets for the foreseeable future.

As an interesting side note, the army has recently made some spectacular spending fuck ups, including spending over half a mil on dud bullets:

Quote:
The stock of 5.56mm ball ammunition was bought by the army even though the manufacturer advised it was not fit for use in the army's standard-issue Steyr rifles.

as well as buying 33 armoured cars which were also useless.

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Anarchia
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Apr 23 2010 01:16
Quote:
This is pretty interesting, I didn't end up going out this weekend so I hadn't heard anything about it until now. I will ask around though to get an idea if the police presence was noticeable here in Wellington, as we do have quite a large bar and club culture.

The thread is from December '09 FYI, so it isn't referring to last weekend tongue

bootsy
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Apr 23 2010 01:18
Quote:
The thread is from December '09 FYI, so it isn't referring to last weekend

Oh snap! I really need to remember to check the dates when I reply to things.