Author: Bibby, Claire1
Published in National Security Journal, 05 April 2021
A comment on images and visual representation
International Relations theorist Cynthia Weber contends that the study of popular images gives them a meaningful political life and helps our understanding of their influence and importance in global communication.10 It is important to select any images for publication carefully. As Cynthia Enloe points out, images are so powerful that if the image is wrong, the whole message is wrong.11 Vanya Harris and Andrew Goldsmith warn against “constructing feminine roles” for women in policing, which ensure the perceived image of policing as “tough and masculine”.12 This study on police imagery reveals whether it is used by police to communicate working in equal partnership with women or is used to reinforce a masculine – feminine construct of policing.
New Zealand has been continuously involved in UN peacekeeping activities since the 1950’s and deployed Police to Cyprus from 1964-1967, to Namibia in 1989-1990, Timor-Leste in 1999-2001 and again in 2008-2012, as well as Afghanistan in 2009- 2012.13 Today NZ Police work as mentors or advisors in post-conflict states such as Bougainville, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.14 They also mentor the Fiji Detector Dog Programme, the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme and operate a Partnership for Pacific Policing capacity development programme in Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.15 NZ Police are based in Tonga with the Tonga Police Development Programme and since 2008 provide a policing service for the Pitcairn Islands.16 NZ Police liaison officers are based in Apia, Bangkok, Beijing, Canberra, Guangzhou, Jakarta, London, Sydney, Washington, and Hong Kong.17 NZ Police also deploy for short-term event policing, for example, memorial services at Gallipoli, the United Nations Small Islands Developing States conference in Samoa and the G20 summit in Brisbane.18
This article discusses the results of a survey of New Zealand Police officers and non-constabulary employees as well as two focus groups from NZ Police National Headquarters International Services Group, which is responsible for administrating New Zealand deployments overseas. The purpose of the survey was to capture the experiences of NZ Police personnel who have held a role in international policing or may have influenced decisions relating to the NZ Police international policing response. It was anticipated that unless the survey recipient had been deployed overseas, most of respondents would not work under the line management of a District Commander. The Headquarters personnel surveyed fell into three groups. The first group were those who likely worked in an international security role, for example, intelligence, protection services (responsibilities include protecting the Governor General, Prime Minister and visiting dignitaries), special tactics (terrorism, high-risk covert surveillance, deployed overseas to assist with security operations) and international services (international emergency and crisis, mentoring, peace-support, post-conflict capacity building).19 The second group were those who make decisions about who works in these roles, such as workgroup managers, the Police Executive, District Commanders and people in Human Resources. The third group were those who influence the public and police perception of international security through media, recruitment marketing, print and online publishing, and the NZ Police Museum.