Author: Bibby, Claire1
Published in National Security Journal, 05 April 2021
When invited to comment on safety when meeting with a different gender in public, 45 males and 13 females (54 constables and five non-constabulary staff) provided a comment. Gossip, rumour and perceptions are raised as a concern by 17 constabulary staff. Three males and two females said they have no issues.
When invited to comment on safety when meeting with a different gender in private, 44 males and 13 females (51 constables and six non-constabulary staff) provided a comment. The constabulary staff provided a range of options they use to keep themselves safe and “risk manage” such situations. Suggestions from male constables were to include another person of the same gender in the meeting; to inform others of scheduled meetings in advance; to build trust to overcome local cultural issues; to record the meeting well; to gain expatriate and partner agency support and awareness; and to tell colleagues where they are going and with whom. Suggestions from female constables are to avoid meeting in private (unless appropriate) and to inform others of the meeting. Both male and female constabulary staff pointed out that it is a matter of using situational awareness. Five males and two females said that they had no issues.
This data informs us of situations where NZ Police personnel feel most safe communicating with men and women internationally and the safeguards police use to protect themselves in less safe situations, which is useful for developing tactical communication approaches.