Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Front line police to carry Tasers on their person

Front line police to carry Tasers on their person

Lef to right: Police Association President Greg O’Connor and Police Commissioner Mike Bush. Photo: Jeremy Wilkinson

Frontline police will now be allowed to carry Tasers on their person as a result of a policy change effective from today.

Prior to today’s change Tasers were kept in the police vehicle for access only if an officer was threatened.

The Police Commissioner, Mike Bush, announced the change in a press conference held this morning in Wellington.

“This important change is about enhancing the safety of New Zealand communities, police staff and offenders.”

“There are currently 5,500 staff trained in level one response, however it’s clear from the substantial research and evidence collated over the last 5 years that the time is now right for us to take this step and move to routine carriage of Taser.”

Bush said the decision is backed by police research conducted since Tasers were first introduced as a police tool in March 2010.

The use of Tasers will be confined to appropriately trained staff whose roles put them in situations where easier access to a Taser is necessary.

Bush said Tasers play a vital role in de-escalating conflict and has a lower rate of injury than other tools such as the baton, pepper spray or dogs.

“Our data shows that for every nine times a Taser is presented, it is only fired once.”

The process to consider the change has been underway since late 2014 and involved discussions with external community groups, police staff as well as discussions with the police association.

Police Association President Greg O’Connor said officers heading to work will be much happier.

“The options police currently use such as police dogs and batons often leave injuries which the Taser does not.”

“Police officers will be able to go to work with a new tool in their belt that is readily available, not in the car, where in incidents in the past have shown it is simply too far away to be effective.”

The policy change is effective from today but implementation could take a few weeks.

Police demonstrate how a Taser is used: First they are shown the laser, then the actual spark on the front of the Taser, then they are shot with a 50,000 volt cartridge.

Audio Here:

Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Binoy Kampmark: The Major Questions Doctrine: The US Supreme Court Blunts The EPA
The US Supreme Court has been frantically busy of late, striking down law and legislation with an almost crazed, ideological enthusiasm. Gun laws have been invalidated; Roe v Wade and constitutional abortion rights, confined to history. And now, the Environmental Protection Agency has been clipped of its powers in a 6-3 decision.
The June 30 decision of West Virginia v Environmental Protection Agency was something of a shadow boxing act... More>>

Ian Powell: Are we happy living in Handy's Age of Unreason?

On 19 June the Sunday Star Times published my column on the relationship between the Labour government’s stewardship of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system and the outcome of the next general election expected to be around September-October 2023: Is the health system an electoral sword of Damocles for Labour... More>>

The First Attack On The Independents: Albanese Hobbles The Crossbench
It did not take long for the new Australian Labor government to flex its muscle foolishly in response to the large crossbench of independents and small party members of Parliament. Despite promising a new age of transparency and accountability after the election of May 21, one of the first notable acts of the Albanese government was to attack the very people who gave voice to that movement. Dangerously, old party rule, however slim, is again found boneheaded and wanting... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Roe V. Wade Blindsides National

Momentum is everything in politics, but it is very fragile. There are times when unexpected actions can produce big shifts and changes in the political landscape. In 2017, for example, the Labour Party appeared headed for another hefty defeat in that year’s election until the abrupt decision of its then leader to step aside just weeks before the election. That decision changed the political landscape and set in train the events which led to Labour being anointed by New Zealand First to form a coalition government just a few weeks later... More>>

Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>