Will armed police make NZ safer?

Police Association president Greg O’Connor wants all frontline police to be armed.

Would that make New Zealand safer?

Would it even make police safer?

It would at times but would it overall?

I am happy for any police to have pepper spray and tasers but I think the risks of all police being armed outweigh the benefits.

8 Responses to Will armed police make NZ safer?

  1. Andrei says:

    New Zealand is an incredibly benign place – you can almost count on your fingers the number of people killed by police in the entire history of this country

    And likewise for the number of police killed in the line of duty.

    There have been three police shot dead in the line of duty this century, the last fatal shooting of a police officer was almost exactly 6 years ago.

    This is not a major problem

  2. Paranormal says:

    To be a member of a pistol club you are required by law to attend a minimum of six club events during a twelve month cycle or lose your licence. The theory is that the regular practice maintains safe firearm handling. That is a police stipulation.

    The police only train once a year with limited ammunition available. By their own standards they should not be considered safe to carry firearms. Then if you were to see how badly shot up a range is after they have finished their training there is no way you would want them loose on the street with firearms.

    We’ve seen just how badly the so called police experts handle firearms. The armed offenders squad are legend for their inability to practice what is considered basic safety. Just watching the footage of them trying to shoot an Alsatian in a built up area was unbelievable. That they missed the dog completely was bad, that they didn’t hit each other or an innocent bystander was just stunning good luck…. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=860_1228275833

    Peel’s basic premise is that police are paid full time to do what is every citizens duty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_Principles
    Given that things are now so bad that police say they need to carry firearms to protect themselves, will they also agree that members of the public can do the same?

  3. Paranormal says:

    Yes, indeed. I wanted to show that police firearms misuse goes much deeper than that tragic incident.

  4. Dave Kennedy says:

    I agree with Ele and all following comments. Even tasers are misused and firearms put in the hands of young, inexperienced police would have tragic consequences.

    Community policing, where the local police know the people they are more likely to deal with must help as well. It will be interesting to see if closing 30 community stations will have a negative impact.

  5. Paranormal says:

    DK – Community policing is the answer – but not the way NZ police were doing it. It actually requires a commitment to the community and for officers to be a full part of the community.

    I’m not knocking the individual officers that were manning the 30 stations and doing a good job. It’s just that they were overstretched and under resourced.

    One of Peel’s 9 principles: To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    I whole-heartedly agree with you Paranormal. Once we remove the ‘us and them’ culture and the need to be seen to be tough on crime many of the causes of crime can be managed. I would rather intervene and redirect young potential criminals into being useful members of society than giving them a police record and locking them into the criminal justice system that often perpetuates the problems.

    Especially with young men, too many spend the majority of their time with their impulsive misguided peer group and I would love to see more opportunities for mentoring with older men in working environments. Growing apprenticeships again in a number of occupations could be useful. Providing a subsidy for employers to take on and train struggling youth may be cost effective if we don’t have to pay $93,000 a year to keep them in prison.

    While crime is actually down overall, violent crime, domestic abuse and sexual offenses are increasing and the roots of this needs to be addressed to stop generations continuing down this path. We lost the potential of the values element of our curriculum when National Standards shifted education to a narrower focus. If parents are not able to instill morals and values and a sense of responsibility in our kids then schools and school communities need to be supported in doing this to break the cycle.

  7. Paranormal says:

    DK – Community policing doesn’t mean a soft on crime approach. There needs to be a stick as well as a carrot. We need to bring back the sense of shame associated with criminal convictions.

    One of the successful anti-crime measures in the Hawkes Bay was starting a Rugby League club. So you are correct that having positive outlets for youth does help.

    But do not think that a strong deterrent is no longer required. At present there is no strong deterrent and with the current revolving door justice system its as if we’re sending a message that we don’t really care about crime being committed.

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