The police in New Zealand are hipper than you might think. Faced with the on-going effort to clean up after the devastating Christ Church earthquake earlier this year, New Zealand Police recently launched a new nationwide ad campaign that aims to tell true life stories of police officers through stencilled street art. In a style deeply reminiscent of Banksy's stencil work, the ads are painted on the walls in the same locations that the featured police activities took place. New Zealand Police hired M&C Saatchi to organize the campaign and street artist Otis Frizzell created the paintings. (The choice of Saatchi is amusing, as the firm's founder, British advertising mogul and art collector Charles Saatchi, has a somewhat contentious relationship with Banksy, who's said he'll never sell his work to Saatchi.)
New Zealand Police has released videos that show how each graffitied ad was produced, along with a brief description of each event, quoted below. From the cop who comforted Japanese victims of the earthquake to the pair of officers demonstrating a classic catch-a-crook method, the three murals seriously muddle the old paradigm that police are the enemies of street artists.