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Some front-line police still w/out protective vest

Chester Borrows MP
National Party Police Spokesman

12 March 2008

Some front-line police still without protective vests

National Party Police spokesman Chester Borrows says it’s time the Police Minister explained exactly what was going on over the deployment of stab-resistant vests for front-line officers.

He says a woman who complained to a newspaper that her police officer partner had not been issued with body armour 12 months after it should have been was told by a senior officer that she ‘might like to keep quiet’ on the issue.

“This woman says she has no intention of staying quiet just because senior police are ‘obviously feeling uncomfortable with the public knowing that there are under-equipped staff on the street’, and I agree totally with her.

“I am staggered that 15 months after the announcement that all front-line police would be issued with stab-resistant vests some are still exposed to unnecessary danger every day and every night because they have do not have one.

“Then, as soon as someone – and an officer’s partner at that – tries to bring it to people’s attention, they try to silence her.

“The roll-out of these vests has been a disaster from day 1.

“Police need an answer from Police Minister Annette King on this issue, and they need it now.

“Just one officer on the front line without protective gear is one too many as far as I’m concerned,” says Mr Borrows, a former front-line officer.

Attachment: answers to parliamentary questions


Answers to parliamentary questions

20193 (2007). Chester Borrows to the Minister of Police (6 Dec 2007): Have all officers who graduated from Police College within the last year been issued with stab resistant body amour; if not, how many are awaiting their stab resistant body armour?
Police Minister Annette King replied: I am advised that, as at 10/12/07, 7153 (97%) of the 7,373 staff to be issued with stab resistant body armour by the project team had received their body armour. Up until 4 December 2007 the focus had been on issuing to these project staff. As from 4 December 2007 Police have begun issuing stab resistant body armour to the 345 recruits who graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police College between 9 August 2007 and 29 November 2007.

20800 (2007). Chester Borrows to the Minister of Police (18 Dec 2007): Further to her response to question for written answer 15123(2007), how many staff have now been issued with vests?
Police Minister Annette King replied: I am advised that as at 21 December 2007, 7,291 staff been issued with Stab Resistant Body Armour (SRBA vests).


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