FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8TH February 2017

NZ POLICE WEAPON TRAINING STANDARDS A DANGER

A recent Official Information Act request has shown that the New Zealand Police have accidentally discharged their issue firearms TWELVE times since 2010. Five times while on operations and seven times in ‘Non-operational settings’.

The NZ Police have accidentally discharged their Tasers OVER FIVE HUNDRED TIMES. One hundred and twenty two times while on operations and three hundred and eighty two times on other occasions.

These incidents occurred during the period 1 July 2010 to 31 October 2016. These incidents were all OUTSIDE of training and do NOT include incidents at gun ranges. These were dangerous errors during operations and when simply handling arms.

Safety aside, the cost of this incompetence adds up to thousands of tax payer’s dollars. Replacement Taser modules are offered for fifty New Zealand dollars. That brings the cost of this dangerous handling to OVER TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Much more has been paid to the victims of accidental Police shootings.

Of note is that it has only been the last two years since Tasers were routinely carried in large numbers.

The Police have refused to provide details of accidents that occurred before July 2010. Claiming that some work would be needed to locate these records. Many incidents may go entirely unreported at all.

The NZ Police Association has repeatedly called for all frontline Police to be armed with handguns. As it stands, Police have accidentally shot a handcuffed suspect in 2013 and killed an innocent teenager on the way to work shortly before that. Another innocent victim sued police for accidentally shooting him during the same incident.

At the time of this release the NZ Police have yet to respond to questions regarding how many of their issue weapons are unaccounted for. Further, if any have fallen into the hands of criminals. This is a timely issue with a Parliamentary Committee now looking into how gangs acquire their firearms.

The NZ Police Association recently told the Otago Daily Times that 20,000 firearms are stolen and provided to criminals each year. NZ Police figures prove this to be inaccurate by… about 20,000.

The NZ Police have also refused to answer questions relating to how many of the patrol vehicles, that are routinely stolen from them, contained weapons and if the thieves had access to these. Police claim that too much work would be involved in gathering the data.

Kiwis understand and appreciate the dangerous job performed by front line officers but they MUST be supported with improved weapons training to accompany the deadly weapons with which they are issued.

This would also prevent dangerous embarrassments such as NZ Police leaving their loaded weapons behind in Parliamentary bathrooms, as happened last year.

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