Kiwi Polemicist

August 31, 2008

Police checkpoints breach the civil liberties of the many to catch the few

Filed under: Justice/Police — Tags: , , , — Kiwi Polemicist @ 12:47 pm

The police have issued a press release giving the results of a “swoop” in Counties Manukau, which is police-speak for a number of checkpoints on roads. The catch from this fishing expedition is:

* 220 drunk drivers

* 43 warrants executed

* 19 arrests

* 61 licences suspended

* fines totaling $94,034.45 “cleared”. The number of fines is not specified.

If all those things apply to different individuals – extremely unlikely – that’s 343 individuals caught in the net, not counting the fines. How many people did they stop and breath test for that? How many people had their right to freedom of movement intruded upon to catch 343 or fewer people?* Answer: 9,429. Yes, even if every one of the listed results applies to a different person, only 3.64% of those stopped actually deserved police attention. To put it another way, 9,086 or more people were subjected to police scrutiny without due cause whilst going about their lawful business, which constitutes surveillance and control of the population by the State.

Meanwhile, the other criminals are having a fine old time while the police tie up all their resources in an activity which provides great publicity.

New Zealanders would object strongly if the police set up checkpoints on footpaths and checked every person who walked past. So why do they accept it when the police do the same thing on roads? Because they have come to accept an unreasonable level of State intrusion into their daily lives.

What do you think about police check points?


Click here and here for updates to this post.

I believe that drink-driving should be legalised.


* (1) stopping everyone at a checkpoint regardless of their behaviour is arguably arbitrary detention (you are not free to leave without permission) and contrary to s22 of the Bill of Rights. Also, s18 provides the right to freedom of movement and stopping everyone regardless of their behaviour is arguably contrary to that (2) breath testing everyone regardless of their behaviour is arguably unreasonable search and seizure (seizure of breath alcohol data) and contrary to s21 of the Bill of Rights



  1. […] police use the current laws as an excuse to breach civil liberties: see my post here Published […]

    Pingback by Drink-driving should be legalised « Kiwi Polemicist — December 4, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  2. […] where the United States Marine Corps is putting military policemen into drink driving checkpoints (in and of themselves a breach of civil liberties) ostensibly run by civilian […]

    Pingback by Military police on the highways of America (Part 1) « Kiwi Polemicist — December 20, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

  3. Great topic for examination.

    Esp when we now know police are over exerting their authority spying on legal protest groups.

    Personally, I wouldn’t drive after a can of beer, too dangerous considering police presence o the roads.

    But I do think people are going to smell a rat about police check points very soon.

    That’s when the army wil be bought in.

    I’m guessing Jim Anderton will be a leading voice in proposing them into the public arena.

    [KP: thank you]

    Comment by wikiriwhi — December 22, 2008 @ 10:17 am

  4. […] checkpoints breach the civil liberties of the many to catch the few” In my earlier post I wrote about drink-driving checkpoints, which I believe are a breach of civil liberties. Not only […]

    Pingback by Update to “Police checkpoints breach the civil liberties of the many to catch the few” « Kiwi Polemicist — January 5, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

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