Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Pepper Spray Reduces Complaints Of Excessive Force

Wednesday 10 May 2006

Pepper Spray Reduces Complaints Of Excessive Force

“The Union representing Fishery Officers is urging the Government to allow them to carry retractable batons and pepper spray to extricate themselves from dangerous situations,” said Martin Cooney, Organiser of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today.

He was commenting on the controversy over two recent incidents where complaints have been made that individual Police Officers have inappropriately used pepper spray.

“The introduction of Pepper Spray to the NZ Police provided deterrent value with considerably reduced assaults on Police, said Martin Cooney. “Further, when the spray was actually used, it allowed Police to deal with alleged offenders in a controlled manner without getting into a physical combat role - and actually reduced overall complaints against Police of excessive force.”

“The retractable baton is unobtrusive and easy to carry when not being used, but very effective in keeping an offender at bay while the spray takes effect or help arrives,” said Martin Cooney.

“There is an international ‘Scale of Force’ for Police where the lowest form of force is Communication (Talking) and the highest is Deadly Force (Firearms),” said Martin Cooney. Currently Fishery Officers are trained to use Communication, Unarmed Combat and the Carotid Hold, along with speed cuffs. On the ‘Scale of Force’, OC Spray and batons are actually rated lower (more acceptable) than the last two options in which Fishery Officers are trained. The use of Martial Arts and the Carotid Hold are slotted immediately under Deadly Force.”

“NUPE members went on strike in 2004 to gain the right to properly defend themselves while withdrawing from incidents when being attacked on isolated beaches by poachers with weapons and high on P,” said Martin Cooney. “The matter was referred to a Cabinet Committee which promised to reply but never met on the subject.”

“Pepper spray and retractable batons are defensive tools. Officers are or will be, trained to use them to defend themselves or others or to extricate themselves from a position of risk when all other less forceful means at their disposal have failed,” said Martin Cooney.

“Given the risks of open handed combat on ships or wharves, the pepper spray provides lower risk to the alleged offender as well as the Fishery Officer.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news