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Friday, April 24, 2009

Editorial disgust in New Zealand over Officer Harrod's tactical assault of his wife and how it was handled

OUR VIEW: Officer's sentence does not fit his crime
Local News - Rotorua Daily Post
April 24. 2009

He swore to protect and serve, to uphold the standards set by his community.

Yet under his own roof, Rotorua police officer Constable Ian Harrod allowed himself to lose control and he attacked his estranged wife.

There are a number of disturbing features in this matter.

First is his occupation. He is supposed to be someone everyone can trust.

Instead he used a police choke hold - something he should only use to protect himself from grievous bodily harm - to render his wife unconscious.

Another aggravating feature was the fact that rather than own up to what he did, Harrod inflicted scratches on himself in a bid to make it look like his wife had attacked him.

He claimed he had merely grabbed her around the waist to try to calm her down.

It was also wrong for the court to suppress Harrod's identity and all details of this case.

The Daily Post strongly opposed suppression in writing this week, arguing it is not only of public interest but in the public interest that people know Harrod's identity and what he did.

Why should he get secrecy because of his job?

As for his sentence of 100 hours' community service, it is far from adequate. How does such a sentence support the message that 'It's Not Okay'? What message does this send to the community?

And what Harrod did is most certainly not at the lower end of the scale of domestic violence, as his lawyer claimed in court.

Since when is rendering a woman unconscious at the lower end of any scale?

Harrod could have killed her.

So, a policeman, a domestic assault, a cover-up attempt, secrecy, and a light sentence all make for one sorry episode.

This is the most despicable of crimes and totally inexcusable for a man in Harrod's position, a man who must surely have arrested many others for much lesser domestic-related offences during his time as a police officer.

Harrod is no longer fit to be a police officer.

The Police Commissioner must sack him."

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