Tasers a welcome option

Tasers a welcome option

Howard Broad, Police Commissioner

Tasers are on their way to every police district in New Zealand.
 
By August, around 680 operational Tasers are expected to be available to 3,500 certified police offices. Training begins in earnest at the start of March.
 
Tasers will not be carried on the hip as a matter of course, but will be readily available to frontline staff.
 
They form part of the tactical options framework - the decision-making framework which guides officers on the reasonable response to a threatening situation. Possible responses start with negotiation and gradually escalate to options including handcuffs, pepper spray, dogs and batons. The last resort is use of firearms.
 
I am very pleased that Taser provides one more step before officers reach that point. It is safer for those involved in an incident, and safer for our staff.
 
Taser has been used in Auckland, Waitemata, Counties Manukau and Wellington police districts for just over a year. In that time, 10 people have been tasered. It's pretty clear that in several instances, the person could have been shot with a firearm if Taser hadn't been available.
 
Out of 132 instances where the Taser was drawn, 92 percent were successfully resolved without the Taser being discharged.
 
Taser is part of police toolkits throughout the world. We will continue to monitor what happens in other countries, as well as our own.
 
I believe the way we have researched and evaluated our use of Taser is as good as anywhere else. We have strict regulations about how we use the equipment. Those standards will be maintained.
 
But there's no doubt our most effective defence will remain the most used - the voice. Talking and calm negotiations diffuse countless potentially violent situations every day, long before force of any kind is required.

Operational Evaluation of the NZ Taser Trial - August 2008 (pdf 740KB)