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Decision? What Decision? - Mark

27 August 2008

Decision? What Decision? - Mark

New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark has welcomed today’s ‘decision in-principle’ to issue Tasers to some police officers but is puzzled by the sudden need for political approval for what is an operational decision.

“New Zealand First is baffled by the Commissioner’s hesitance in this matter and why he is leaving the final say to politicians,” said Mr Mark.

“There was no such hesitancy when Police abandoned their bolt action, sporting-style rifles in favour of military-style, M4 semi-automatic Bushmasters, so we are mystified by the sudden need for political approval on stun guns.

“The right outcome is a little bit closer, following what should have been a very easy decision. Officers on the beat want tools that enable them to do their job safely and effectively, and the Taser is such a tool. On that basis, the decision really was a no-brainer," said Mr Mark.

“Today’s announcement will no doubt attract undeserved and unwarranted criticism from the hysterical anti-Taser lobby, but the trial result speaks for itself - officers were judicious in their use of the Taser, with it being presented 128 times during the trial and only discharged on 20 of those occasions.

“Clearly, officers can be trusted with such a device.

“The plan to restrict Tasers to certain staff causes concern, as does the cumbersome requirements before officers can deploy them and we shall wait to see if this puts officers lives at risk through by causing unnecessary delays.

“However, since the Commissioner wants our views in order to make to make this decision, I say to him “You’ve got New Zealand First’s support – go for it.”

ENDS

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