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Issue Tasers Now – NZ First

27 May 2008

Issue Tasers Now – NZ First

The delay in the decision to issue Tasers is depriving officers an effective policing tool, and is putting the safety of frontline officers at risk, says New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark.

A decision by the Commissioner of Police on the issuing of Tasers to frontline officers was expected early this year. However, eight months after the year-long trial of Tasers finished, the decision is yet to be made public.

“The decision should have been easy. Officers on the beat want tools that enable them to do their job safely and effectively, and the trial showed that the Taser was such a tool,” said Mr Mark.

“Currently, officers have the option of using either a baton or lethal force when responding to incidents involving violence. This is too great a jump between response options. Tasers provide a level of force that fits between the two options, and will both save offenders lives and, most importantly, protect officers.

“If the delay is due to public relations concerns, the trial result speaks for itself. The statistics clearly show that officers were judicious in their use of the Taser, with it being presented 128 times during the trial and only discharged on 20 occasions. It unequivocally rubbishes claims by hysterical anti-Taser groups that Police can not be trusted with the device.

“Police National Headquarters is gaining a reputation for being tardy in supplying urgently needed safety equipment to officers. I strongly urge them to help shake this reputation by issuing Tasers, and issuing them now,” said Mr Mark.


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