Newshub has received a second letter from Philip Arps – the white supremicist jailed for sharing video of the massacre in Christchurch.
In it, he claims to have contacted the police and SIS about his desire to see certain people “executed”. But Corrections says it should not have been posted.
Arps is an unrepentant racist. From behind the wire of Christchurch Men’s Prison, he’s been allowed to continue spreading his message of hate.
The second letter Newshub has received from Arps is 13 pages of rage.
In it, he expresses his support for Hilter and openly talks of his disdain for Prime Minister Jacinda Adern, former Prime Minister Helen Clark, Winston Peters and Golriz Ghahraman. He also shares his desire to see “traitors” executed.
“There are direct threats to people and incitement of violence, and for the life of me I can’t see how this has come out,” Chris Wilson, a conflict and terrorism senior lecturer at the University of Auckland told Newshub.
Wilson says the letter is so graphic that it should have immediately raised red flags.
He called it a “major failing”, and it appears the Department of Corrections agrees.
Chief executive Christine Stevenson told Newshub it is very evident the letter should have been withheld.
Newshub can also reveal that back in July 2018, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff was also sent a racist letter from Arps. Goff said the correspondence has now been sent to the police.
Perhaps more concerning, however, is that Arps claims that “over the years” he’s contacted both the SIS and police to tell them certain people should be executed.
Police wouldn’t say whether Arps’ claims were accurate and would only state that they’re “liaising with Corrections regarding certain letters sent from prisons”.
Criminologist Greg Newbold says threats, no matter how incoherent or rambling, should be taken seriously.
“There is likely to be a small, a very small minority, who might act out their fantasies, and they are the ones to worry about. You only need one nutcase to create a massacre,” he says.
New Zealand prisons have 100 inmates with white supremacist views, and after Newshub sent Arps’ first letter to Corrections, Stevenson has said she had “no confidence” in the prisoners’ mail system.
From Friday, all inmates with extremist views will have all mail checked in a single, centralised location. An immediate review of the system is also underway.
Arps is appealing his sentence, claiming 21 months inside is too long. The Crown says his letters could be relevant to that outcome.
They may also be relevant to police. Newshub has forwarded them on.