Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 5:10pm |

Wellington police officers to begin wearing stab resistant vests

2 min read

From this week Wellington police officers have started to receive their Stab Resistant Body Armour (SRBA).

The Wellington Police District is the last area in the country to begin to roll out the stab resistant vests.

Operational Services Manager Inspector Mike Wright, who is overseeing the Wellington roll out, says the public will start to see some officers wearing them from now on.

About 660 staff from throughout the Wellington Police District, which includes staff working as far north as Peka Peka and Masterton, have been identified to receive a stab resistant vest.

"Initially we will be issuing the vests to as many frontline response staff as possible. Hopefully all staff who undertake public policing duties will have one by the end of the year," says Inspector Wright.

"We expect the roll out to take several months. Fitting every officer with a personal garment like this is a big logistical exercise. Experience from other districts is that it can take two fitters up to half an hour to fit someone. It's the type of garment that has to fit perfectly to be comfortable.

"Staff are required to wear the stab resistant vests in most of their dealings with offenders and on duty outside the station. However, not all officers will be wearing a vest all the time. Staff are expected to assess the level of risk and there will be situations when wearing one is not necessary or appropriate."

The vests protect against slashing and stabbing and low velocity hand gun fire. They also provide protection against blunt trauma like blows, car accidents, climbing fences and dog bites. They do not protect against high velocity rifle fire so staff attending armed incidents will still need to wear ballistic body armour.


Invitation to media:

Media are invited to attend a Stab Resistant Body Armour staff fitting at Wellington Central Police Station in Victoria Street tomorrow at 3.15pm.

If you would like to attend please contact:

Toni Barlow, Acting Communications Manager, Tel: 04 496 3464


For more information please contact Toni Barlow, Tel 04 496 3464.