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Incident shows offenders are already armed

12 March 2014

Incident shows offenders are already armed

An incident yesterday where off duty Superintendent Sandra Manderson had a firearm presented at her by a jewellery thief further confirms the fact criminals are already armed, Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

“The Police Association has been warning for several years that criminals are already armed. Our members are regularly being confronted with armed criminals in the course of routine, everyday policing such as traffic stops and search warrants,” Mr O’Connor said.

“While criminals are generally arming themselves against other criminals, once they are armed, they pose a huge threat to police or members of the public who happen to cross their path. Over recent years we have seen numerous near misses, as well as tragic deaths, in these circumstances.

“Providing police officers with access to the full range of tactical options, and the training to use them appropriately, effectively, and with confidence, can’t spark an arms race. It is simply playing catch-up.

“Frontline members already know this is the reality on the streets of New Zealand. Now that a senior officer has experienced that reality first-hand, we would hope that fact is driven home at the decision-making ranks of Police, as final decisions are made around funding and provision of firearms and Taser training,” Mr O’Connor said.

ENDS

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