What happened to police discretion?

From the Southland Times today

Alarm as grieving dad gets charged
 Would-be rescuer and Central Otago Mayor Tony Lepper says he cannot understand why the devastated father of a boy killed in Lake Dunstan last week has been charged over the incident.

…Family First New Zealand national director Bob McCoskrie said the timing of the charges lacked compassion and discretion. A crime had been committed but the purpose of charging someone was a punishment. However, Mr Macwan was already dealing with a “life sentence”, he said. “They certainly seemed quick to lay the charges … they should be far more sensitive to the tragic outcome. “Let him bury his son without having to appear in court in the same week.” The Southland Times website was busy yesterday with comments from people who believed the charges against Mr Macwan were “inappropriate and pointless”.


4 comments for “What happened to police discretion?

  1. Massoud Field
    27 April 2011 at 1:59 am

    What do you expect? You seek to open the stable door and worry when the horse bolts. Family First is always vociferous in its push for more police powers. You appear surprised when the police actually exercise that kind of attitude – as they will with the slightest encouragement. These things have a predilection to come back and haunt one. And imagine under your beloved “3 Strikes” legislation – his goose may well be, legally speaking, cooked.

  2. Bob
    27 April 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Sorry Massoud – you’re completely confused on our intention. Three strikes is about ‘repeat violent offenders’. Discretion is about acknowledging that a good father who makes a horrendous mistake should be allowed to bury his son before he has to deal with court appearances etc. The outcome of his actions far exceed any punishment the court can give him. Its about compassion and discretion.

  3. Michaela
    2 May 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Massoud, what on earth are you talking about? What Family First are advocating with the 3 strikes issue is completely different to this situation. Sorry, but your comments are just silly.

  4. Stella
    2 May 2011 at 10:08 pm

    What happened to Mr Macwan was similar to what this woman in Rotorua recently did – forgetfulness rather than deliberate negligence http://www.rotoruadailypost.co.nz/local/news/car-rolls-into-stream/3949973/ Fortunately no one got hurt. The report doesn’t say whether she was charged, but I’m guessing she wasn’t.

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