Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Justice, Kiwi style.

I know that the Ministry of Justice exists to create a fairer and safer New Zealand, and vigilante justice is not recommended. However I had to have a very long laugh when I saw this latest news article.
I haven’t actually seen the video; it was not available when I tried.
A quick run-down on what happened...
In Whangarei two men were apprehended in a citizen’s arrest by some locals who then “kidnapped” them and forced them to dance until the police arrived.Thier dancing was filmed and uploaded to youtube.
Apparently when the police arrived one of the officers had to leave the room, they were laughing so hard.
For all I know was is a distressing and scarring experience for the poor captives.
Not as distressing and scarring as the young man who was stabbed to death by a man so enraged by the frequent and repeated tagging of his fence that he took a life.
I still cannot understand how that could have happened.
The people who held the taggers were apparently killing time until the police showed up, they weren’t trying to bypass the justice system, just get a little extra in on the side.
To be honest,in spite of my interest in human rights my initial and lasting response is good hearted amusement. Our letterbox was repeatedly smashed every weekend a few years back, and we tried to find ways to booby-trap it to surprise the people who were doing it. Ideas that were thrown around (but not used)were making the surrounding area slippery somehow, glass, nails, explosives, packets of anthrax...
We were getting pretty frustrated – letter boxes are not priced to be purchased weekly. A fence is significantly larger, and making the culprits do a dance seems pretty kind in comparison.
I LOVE living in a country without common firearm use, where people can still keep a sense of humour!
I will try and keep this incident in mind and I think we should start a list of possible punishments that can be done without wasting police time. All may be filmed, and distributed, as long as film proof of the crime can be provided.
Perhaps each film should be sent to the ministry of justice and the money that would have been spent organising the justice can go towards cleaning up after the incident.

Petty crime
Littering, spitting or urinating in public, first time shop lifting.
Punishment: Do the chicken dance, or sing the national anthem on film

Heavier duty
Repeated small item shop lifting, disturbing the peace, tagging/destroying minor property.
Punishment: to sing and dance the Macarena whilst wearing only underwear.

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