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Allow Us To Help Ourselves

Allow Us To Help Ourselves & More Might Help The Police

Tuesday 23 Nov 2004

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Crime & Justice

Appalling as it is that people stood by and watched as a police officer was beaten, Masterton police managers should direct their complaints first at their own bosses and Labour Government Ministers who deny ordinary citizens their rights of self-defence, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Can they really expect the public to get into a fight on behalf of a police officer when police bosses are constantly warning the public to leave any fighting to them, not to take the law into their own hands, and not to be a hero. What do they think will happen when there is a constant message that even the police won't intervene to save others if it puts them at risk," Mr Franks said.

"Only last month the police falsely told Maggie Bentley that police had arrived to save her and her husband, when in fact the nearest officer was more than half an hour away, and his commanding officer admitted on television that even if he had arrived his instructions would've been to stay well clear until he had reinforcements.

"What do they think will happen when they tell people repeatedly they should not even try to use the rights of citizens arrest expressly guaranteed in our Crimes Act? What do they think will be the culture when a Rotorua woman who used a knife to drive off a would-be rapist spent days awaiting the police decision whether to charge her for use of an offensive weapon?

"Where is the police officers' union in all this? If front-line police officers want the comfort of confident citizens working together with the police to uphold the law, it's time they spoke in favour of my Self-Defence Amendment Bill to restore defence rights that have been trampled over the past 30 years.

"It is time they realised that the police job was safer and more satisfying when Sir Robert Peel's principle still prevailed, namely that police only do full-time what every responsible citizen could and should do as and when necessary," Mr Franks said.


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