No question about effectiveness of Taser

No question about effectiveness of Taser

National News

Police say there are no concerns around the viability or effectiveness of Taser.

Superintendent John Rivers says the number of times Taser has failed in NZ is comparable with overseas jurisdictions, and there is nothing to suggest there is an issue with NZ police use of the Taser.

"Taser is proving to be highly successful and we are starting to get the safety benefits we have anticipated and which came to the fore during the trial."

During the Taser trial there were 16 discharges of Taser, two of which were unsuccessful. Since the national rollout began in March Taser has been discharged 30 times, and, in all but four of the events was used successfully.

"It is normal to expect that, on occasion, the Taser will not be successful and there are a range of factors which might make contribute to this, such as both probes not making contact, or getting tangled in clothes."

However, staff training involves being aware of the scenario of an unsuccessful discharge and it is acknowledged that this may happen.

Mr Rivers says that not only has the Taser proved to be effective when it is deployed, in many cases the mere threat of it being deployed or using the laser beam has been enough to subdue an offender."

For instance, as illustrated during the Taser trial and its subsequent reintroduction, in over 80% of uses staff have been able to resolve the situation without having to discharge the weapon.

"The Taser is viable, it is effective, and it is delivering positive results in the NZ operating environment. Its viability is not in question."