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Decoy cops: do they carry batons, pepper spray?

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

31 May 2006

Decoy cops: do they or don’t they carry batons, pepper spray?

The Police Minister should tell the public once and for all whether or not her part-time decoy cops will be carrying pepper spray and batons, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

“There seems to be a huge amount of confusion over this issue and it needs to be sorted out so the public knows exactly what these decoy cops are allowed to do.

“First, Deputy Police Commissioner Rob Pope says that because these people do only mundane jobs like guard crime scenes or man police cells there is no need for them to carry batons and pepper spray.

He said on May 12: ‘We don't as matter of policy issue temporary constables with batons, spray and the like because they are employed to do a very, very specific role, and it's not expected they would exercise powers of arrest and the like.’

“But now we have the Police Minister revealing, in an answer to my question, that ‘some temporary constables have been outfitted with non-lethal weapons such as batons and pepper spray…’

“This raises even further questions about the deployment of these cops, whose numbers have jumped from 17 in 2005 to 330 this month.

“At the very least the public would want to be assured that if they are going to have this gear that their training with it is the same as that of full-sworn officers.

“But the real issue is not how to use them but when and when not to use them.

“What is the next step? Issuing these people with 50,000-volt Taser stun guns?”

ENDS

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