Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Police to pilot Armed Response Teams

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced a trial of Armed Response Teams (ARTs) to support Police’s tactical capabilities on the frontline to minimise the risk of harm to the New Zealand public and our staff.

ARTs will complement our initial response to critical or high risk incidents by being on duty at peak demand times, seven days a week.

ARTs are specialist police personnel who are part of our Armed Offenders Squad (AOS). Our AOS is normally on call 24/7, but for the trial they will be routinely armed, equipped, mobile and ready to support our frontline with any events or incidents that require enhanced tactical capabilities.

They are a standard feature across policing jurisdictions internationally.

“The Police’s mission is that New Zealand is the safest country. Following the events of March 15 in Christchurch, our operating environment has changed,” says Commissioner Bush.

“The threat level remains at medium and we are continuously reviewing our tools, training, and capabilities we use to provide Policing services to ensure we remain fit for purpose.”

ARTs will have access to a range of tactical options and on average they will consist of a minimum of three specialist AOS personnel.

At times they may be supported by additional staff such as our specialist dog units.

“Police must ensure our people are equipped and enabled to perform their roles safely and to ensure our communities are, and feel, safe.

This means having the right people with the right tools, skills and knowledge ready to respond at all times.

“The introduction of ARTs improves our ability to respond to rapidly evolving events and incidents with highly-trained specialist skills and expertise, minimising risks to our people and the public,” says Commissioner Bush.

“ARTs will be trialled in in Counties Manukau, Waikato and Canterbury for six months.

These three Police districts have been chosen to host the trial as they have the highest number of firearms seized, located and surrendered, and have the largest AOS groups to support the trial.

“During the trial, ARTs will be focused on responding to events where a significant risk is posed to the public or staff.

“They will also support the execution of pre-planned and high-risk search warrants, high-profile public events and prevention activities.”

The trial will be evaluated to see what impact, ARTs have on staff and public safety.

The evaluation will be undertaken by the Evidence Based Policing Centre (EBPC).

Summary of Police’s Armed Response Teams

Armed Response Teams will be:

• teams of a minimum of three armed, AOS trained staff with a specialist vehicle equipped with tactical options
• operating seven days a week
• focused on responding to events where a significant risk is posed to the public or staff and supporting the execution of pre-planned and high-risk search warrants, high-profile public events and prevention activities
• trialled for a period of six months in Counties Manukau, Waikato and Canterbury Police Districts
• evaluated by Police’s Evidence Based Policing Centre to see whether the use of ARTs make staff and communities be, and feel, safe.

Question and Answers


Is there an immediate threat Police is responding to?

There is no immediate threat.

However, we must recognise that the environment has changed and Police’s capability and resourcing needs to reflect this to ensure New Zealanders feel, and are, safe.

We are undertaking the trial to assess whether ARTs improve Police’s ability to keep our staff and the public safe through their ability to respond to situations with specialist skills and expertise, minimising risks to the public and our people.


Will ARTs operate 24/7?

During the pilot ARTs will operate during peak demand times, seven days a week with AOS squads continuing to provide support outside these hours.


What will the ARTs look like?

ARTs will use a specialist vehicle, which has a colour scheme as our other specialist teams (e.g.: Eagle helicopter).

Staff will wear standard blue operational uniform with Police’s new Body Armour System.


How have you measured the risk in the trial locations?

The risk has been measured through a Police programme called Gun Safe that records incidents and details when Police encounter firearms.

This programme was initially trialled across Tamaki Makaurau in late 2018 to ensure it was something every Police district could easily use.

Nationwide rollout then began gradually from December 2018, with every Police district being on board by March 2019. Counties Manukau, Waikato and Canterbury have the highest number of firearms seized, located and surrendered.


What is the Evidence Based Policing Centre (EBPC)?

The EBPC uses practitioner-based research, information, crime-science, theory, and problem-solving methods to inform practice, implement measures to prevent crime and improve the allocation of Police resources to better protect our staff and the public.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Clark Exit, Convention Centres, And The Killing Of Hachalu Hundessa

Goodbye, David Clark. In the end, the outgoing Health Minister decided that in the midst of a pandemic the best thing he could do for New Zealand would be to no longer be there – given that being there had involved hiving off on his mountain bike during a lockdown, and throwing the country’s most beloved Health bureaucrat under a bus. As Clark indicated so memorably at last week’s press conference, when it comes to managing public health risks at the border the buck stops with…that guy over there! In the aftermath of that debacle, Clark reached the same conclusion the nation had reached some time ago, that leadership just wasn’t his thing. Once again, he got on his bike.... More>>

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>


Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>


Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>


Government: Building A Stronger Health And Disability System

The Government is committing to a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger New Zealand Health and Disability System that delivers for all. More>>


National: Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle

Today I am confirming a minor shadow cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Paula Bennett. Dr Shane Reti will be ranked number 13 and will take on Associate Drug Reform. Shane has demonstrated a huge intellect and capacity for work, supporting ... More>>

Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>


Int'l Trade: New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels