Spectrum 757 - Call Me Ma'am Pt 2
Loading the player...
"Call me Ma'am" was the reply Betty Bennett gave her non-commissioned male colleagues, when they asked how to formally address her once she became the first female Police Inspector in New Zealand.
In the second of two Spectrum documentaries she continues her story of policing as a woman in the 1950s and 1960s. [see ID 16189 for Part 1]
She gives details of her relationship with Auckland brothel keeper Madam Flora and also with prostitutes working the ships at Auckland wharves.
She talks about how she kept her sanity during police work, saying a sense of humour is crucial. She says dealing with the deaths of infants in cot deaths was the hardest for her to deal with.
She comments on the changing nature of crime she has seen since the 1950s. She is dubious about some claims of what constitutes rape today but says child abuse is more widespread now. She notes that 'flashers' are more common in summer weather.
She says domestic disputes are some of the most difficult cases to handle because of the volatile situations police officers walk into.
She talks about the era of illegal backstreet abortions and taking part in undercover operations to arrest abortionists.
Reference number 16188
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Bennett, Betty, -2013, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Perkins, Jack (b.1940), Producer