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Taser Best Option For NZ Police

Friday 16 November 2007

Taser Best Option For NZ Police

Tasers are clearly the best less-than-lethal force option for New Zealand Police, and video footage of a man dying after being tasered and arrested by Canadian police has no bearing on that assessment, Police Association Vice-President Stuart Mills said today.

"The cause of death in the Vancouver case has not been determined. Nevertheless, this is clearly a tragedy for the family, and the actions of the officers involved will no doubt be subject to intense scrutiny by Canadian authorities, as they should be in a case involving a fatality such as this," Mr M
ills said.

"But however tragic the death, it has no bearing on the assessment of whether Tasers should be available to New Zealand Police."

"New Zealand Police are generally unarmed, unlike their Canadian counterparts, and being called upon to respond to more and more volatile and violent situations where lives are at risk. Officers themselves are also facing record numbers of violent assaults."

"As the recently concluded trial showed, Tasers provide an effective way to deal with those situations without being forced to resort to lethal force. There were no incidents of inappropriate use in the year-long New Zealand trial, and the device almost certainly prevented Police, members of the public, and offenders from suffering serious injury or worse," Mr Mills said.

ENDS

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