Graeme Duckett: Crime and punishment in our changing world

Graeme Duckett remembers a simpler time. Pictured is Thomas Borthwicks' old butcher shop in Waitara around 1981.

Graeme Duckett remembers a simpler time. Pictured is Thomas Borthwicks' old butcher shop in Waitara around 1981.

We all read with horror about theft in the workplace but lets not kid ourselves, the problems not a new one.

I was in the freezing industry for 14 years and saw first hand the demise of the meat industry as we knew it, not only through mismanagement but a union pushing way over the top and a workforce hell bent on pillaging all it could from the company.

Everyone was too blind to see the future consequences which were rapidly approaching. The rot was right through to top level and the only time things tightened up, was when management were missing out themselves. I was there, I saw it first hand.

This wasn't just in the meat industry, but in everything. If you were a waterside worker or on the railways you saw things as I did and know what I'm talking about.

READ MORE: Graeme Duckett: Reflections on a year gone by

Today with the new technology scams are rampant. If you have a computer you're on your guard against people trying to rip you off in one way or another.

Letters arrive in the mail with a cry for help from a lady whose uncle has died and left her millions that she needs to transfer into your bank account and all you have to do is pay the $2000 fee to transfer it into your account and she'll give you half of it, yeah right!

I can't believe how many people have been sucked into these scams. I heard of a farmer in South Taranaki who lost his farm and all his savings, who started by corresponding with a so-called Russian girl who eventually asked for money because her mother had fallen ill and needed an urgent operation.

The plea for money eventually ran him broke and the so-called bride to be was just a scammer. Very sad for the naive farmer.

I remember a time when, if there was a thief in the neighbourhood all of a sudden, it could be pinned down very quickly, to someone new in the block or in the town because everyone knew everyone and their children. Stealing milk money from the bottles at the gate was always a problem until milk tokens came in.

Anyone caught faced Constable Cavanaugh of Waitara, which meant a roasting for a starter and then a good swift merciless kick up the backside on the way out of the police station, and then home for Dad's razor strop or jug cord.

Luckily I never had to face that but my poor brother-in-law did for shooting the farmers' ball cocks in the troughs at Lepperton with the new rifle his dad bought for him. He didn't do that again!

I'm not a big fan of technology, sure it has its place but at the rate it's increasing are we to be controlled totally in the end by the computer and powers that be?

Look how far phones have come, it's quite scary. Children are addicted and parents too.Take a phone or computer game off a kid and you have World War Three on your hands, it's very addictive.

So what's ahead? A compulsory microchip like dogs and cats have now and a card which gives all info. Credit rating, criminal history, finance history and all personal details. Our Changing World.

 - Stuff

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