Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Firearms Use Escalation Not Supported After Kawhia Assault


Title: Escalation Of Firearms Use Not Supported After Kawhia Assault On Policeman

The safety of police staff is our highest priority and our focus is on providing officers with the tools, training and support they need to do their job safety, Commissioner Peter Marshall said.

He called for “cool heads and calm minds” in the wake of Friday night’s assault in Kawhia in which the sole charge officer Constable Perry Griffen was beaten and stripped of his OC spray, taser and pistol by a group of angry people as he tried to arrest a young man wanted on warrant.

The Commissioner said any assault on an officer doing his or her lawful job was one too many. “It’s not good enough and it should not happen, but putting it perspective, policing is an inherently dangerous job. Our people attend hundreds of calls for assistance every week where an element of violence is present – people have alcohol or drugs in their system, or are simply bad individuals.

Most of the 1.8 million calls received annually for service by our communications centres end with out any real incident, regrettably there are some that end up with our staff being assaulted.

The Commissioner said that: “This is why we have in recent years included the provision of the stab resistant body armour, and the rollout of increased numbers of tasers and firearms into frontline vehicles. This is supported by improved training of tactical tools and support for staff in the use of these tactical options.”

Using a firearm as the primary weapon is not the tactic of choice. Each situation is assessed on its merits starting with communication to de-escalate events. De-escalation is not always possible despite the very best efforts of the police officer or his or her colleagues and this is when other tactical options such as oc spray, the taser and ultimately the firearm can be used.

“While the kinds of attacks seen on officers in recent weeks are thankfully uncommon, they are reflective of the risks that officers sometimes face in the course of doing their duty to keep their community safe.

“The recent spate of serious assaults on police which has left officers bruised, bloodied and with broken bones is a concern.

“Officer safety is a top priority and we take any assault on any officer very seriously. We continually think about how officer safety can be improved. Our officers are trained to assess and manage risk and we provide them with protection including body armour (SRBA and ballistic vests when appropriate), OC pepper spray, batons, the taser and in the most serious of situations they have firearms available to them should they be required.

The use of a firearm as the primary weapon in the Kawhia incident was not appropriate and this was suppported by the Kawhia officer and his supervisors. “This is not a time for political point scoring exercises,” the Commissioner said.

“Unfortunately risk is part of the policing job and can never be eliminated, especially when assaults happen with out warning.

“When officers are assaulted we do review incidents to determine whether there are things we could have done differently or aspects we can learn from. It is too early to comment on what the outcome will be of the debrief into the Kawhia incident – the priority is getting Constable Perry Griffin well.

“I have spoken with Constable Griffen this morning and in his words, he is “keen to get back onto the saddle of the horse as quickly as possible.” He will however receive a few days off first.

“It is important to acknowledge the excellent help Constable Griffen received from a group of local people include local fightfighters and district council staff who were present and responded to the officer’s activation of his call alert button, another new safety innovation. We are grateful for their speedy arrival and their help demonstrates the close cooperation between those in emergency services roles in rural communities.

When it comes to the Kawhia situation, that was cowardly. But what was really encouraging was the immediate response from members of the public, including Kawhia volunteer firies to help a mate who was in trouble.

“I have talked with the senior person from the Kawhia Volunteer Fire Brigade today to thank him and his colleagues.

“Policing isn’t an activity that we can do alone. We all need to work together to ensure there are good levels of safety in the community. Thankfully the public recognises that and time and time again good people come to our assistance to help deal with drunks, thugs and other idiots, as well as helping us with information to assist serious crime including rape and other crimes of violence.
Any community that becomes too frightened to speak out, to know and respect the line between right and wrong, will risk loosing its moral compass and once that seed is planted it is very hard to root out."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education, Marketing, Taxes: Health Groups Call For Actions For Sugary Drinks

The New Zealand Dental Association is launching a new consensus statement on Sugary Drinks endorsed by key health organisations. The actions seek to reduce harm caused by sugary drinks consumption. More>>

ALSO:

More Departures? David Shearer Proposed For UN Peacekeeping Role

Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Security Agencies' Reports: GCSB Wants To Give ISPs More Power To Block Threats

The Government Communications Security Bureau wants to give internet service providers more information and power to block cyber threats which are increasing, its director told the intelligence and security select committee yesterday.. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news