The New Zealand Context: Finding Common Ground in the Land of the Long White Cloud
The history of engagement between higher education and Police in New Zealand has been a mixed bag over the last 35 years. The relationship has had its ups and downs with police and academics not really understanding each other’s worldview or how they might constructively work together. At various points academic qualifications have been in vogue only to fall out of favour in the face of Police reasserting ownership over their own business. More recently the point of higher education and academic inquiry has become clearer to Police. The rise over time of community policing and problem solving planted seeds. The emergence of intelligence-led policing and crime sciences have shown Police the value of research and evidence. This has led to strategic change under the banner of Prevention First and more recently evidence based policing. Despite all this police generally are still not clear how to weave science literacy and research skills into a qualification and training framework that makes sense. The variability of academic offerings to Police has created uncertainty. Most recent developments have seen Police partner with a polytechnic to support the development of initial training. The more practical grounded nature of the polytechnic environment; where skills similar to policing, like nursing and social practice are taught, may help bridge the gaps between academe, research and front line practice when this did not seem entirely achievable up to this point.
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