Dr Jarrod Gilbert: The police have deemed me unfit to undertake crime research because i know criminals…

Dr Jarrod Gilbert has been deemed unfit to undertake crime research because he knows criminals. Photo / NZME
Dr Jarrod Gilbert has been deemed unfit to undertake crime research because he knows criminals. Photo / NZME

Dr Jarrod Gilbert. Photo / Kelsy Carter

Sitting in front of me is a 20-page document. It’s my police file. It doesn’t say much, because 17 of those pages are completely blacked out.

I requested my file because I’ve been deemed by the police to be unfit to conduct research – I’ve been banned from accessing basic and uncontroversial police data. As an academic who studies crime, this is rather crippling. It’s also a staggering abuse of power.

The police have deemed me unfit because of my “association with gangs”. This association won’t surprise many people: I did New Zealand’s largest ever study of gangs. It was long, exhausting and sometimes dangerous work, but it was worth it. The research culminated in an award-winning book, and academic publications all around the world.

READ MORE: Academics could be blacklisted by police

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