23 May 2009

Tasers urged for all frontline police officers

9:22 pm on 23 May 2009

The Police Association says every frontline police officer should carry a taser.

The Government has allocated $10 million over three years for a national roll-out of 720 tasers.

Association vice-president Stuart Mills says that making the weapon available in frontline police vehicles is a step forward but

that given the unpredictable nature of policing work every frontline officer should carry one.

Mr Mills says the association will be waiting to see how the rollout develops before deciding whether to push the issue further.

Police Minister Judith Collins says the stun guns are a vital tool for managing dangerous situations and reducing potential harm to the public and police.

She says they'll be available on a case-by-case basis and about 3500 officers will be trained to use them.

Earlier this week, Ms Collins rejected comments in a United Nations report that said tasers constituted a form of torture and that the Government should reconsider their use.