New Zealand law enforcement wants to hire 400 new cops, and they are recruiting these new cops by conducting real-life social experiments on video.
"We are looking for people who care about the people in their communities. People who will step in when they see someone who needs helps or is doing something that is unsafe," police official Karen Jones said in a press release. "The kind of people we want to attract care about making a positive difference. With NZ Police there are many opportunities to turn that care into positive action."
The first social experiment involved a young male actor playing a lost child eating food out of garbage bins. According to the NZ Police Recruitment Facebook page, in the 35 minutes that the boy was outside eating garbage, 500 people passed by. Most of them ignored him. A few of them even threw garbage away without noticing him. Their faces were blurred out in the video.
"People who don't intervene have a wide range of reasons — e.g. some people may not have even seen the boy eating from the bin," the recruitment team noted on the Facebook page.
Roughly 230,000 children live in poverty in New Zealand, so intervening on the behalf of a hungry child could be a real scenario for potential police officers.
On a positive note, 10 kind strangers did intervene when they saw the lost boy on the streets. They asked the boy if he wanted help, where his parents were, and if he wanted any food or any money.
"We hope the segment will encourage conversations about what you would have done," Jones said in the press release. "And more importantly we hope the conversations will encourage the target groups we want to reach to consider if their values are a good fit with what we stand for."
The police recruitment campaign is geared towards building a more diverse law enforcement force. They want to reach 18- to 29-year-olds, and, in particular, people of Maori, Pasifika, Chinese, Indian, Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern descent.