Friday, 10 October 2003 - 5:07pm |
National News

Little support for arming of Police

1 min read

Police Commissioner Rob Robinson said he was pleased to see there was continuing little support for arming of Police in New Zealand.

&#34It would be a sad day for New Zealand if Police were to be armed at all times. The message is clear, New Zealanders are not ready to see armed Police on our streets despite the increase in the incidence of violent crimes,&#34 said Mr Robinson.

Commenting today on the results of a survey conducted on behalf of the Police Association Mr Robinson said he was also pleased to see Police officers who faced increasing violent threats were also opposed to being armed.

&#34This just reinforces our determination to use less-than-lethal options to deal with incidents involving threats of violence. Our training centres on this approach based on research in this area.&#34

The safety of staff is the primary consideration when dealing with the issue of arming of police. The current policy and guidelines for the issuing of weapons provide the necessary checks and balances to ensure officers make the right decisions in dealing with an incident.

&#34Officers have access to firearms and can call on armed support if the situation warrants it. However, there are also public safety issues to be considered when police are required to use firearms.&#34

Mr Robinson said Police continually review the use of firearms to ensure public safety issues are addressed and staff training in tactical options keeps pace with the demands of modern policing.