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Fishery Officers Case For Batons To Parliament

Fishery Officers Case For Batons To Parliament

“Fishery Officers present their case for law changes to allow them to generally carry batons and pepper spray to the Primary Production Select Committee today,” Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) stated today. NUPE’s oral submission on the Fisheries Amendment Bill No 3 will be presented at 5pm in Room G.003 of Parliament House today.

“Fishery Officers had been hoping that the Ministry of Fisheries would also be supporting law changes to allow general carriage of batons and pepper spray given Health and Safety requirements. However the Ministry has decided not to support them at this stage. NUPE believes current law (Crimes Act) allows Fisheries Officers to carry ASP batons in certain dangerous situations.”

“The Fisheries Officers however can currently only use empty handed tactics (self defence) and tactical withdrawal (‘running away’) when dealing with unplanned hostile situations that arise. Batons and pepper spray would reduce the risk of serious assault faced by a Fishery Officer for example on an isolated beach who is trying to arrest a poacher who is suspected to be high on ‘P’ and who is suddenly confronted by a group holding knives,” said Martin Cooney.

“The Fisheries Act could be amended by inserting a new clause 205 A which would allow Fisheries Officer to carry ASP retractable batons and pepper spray,” said Martin Cooney.

““Other changes may also be required to other Acts,” said Martin Cooney.

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