1 Aug 2015

Tasers policy 'rushed in', says campaigner

7:50 am on 1 August 2015

A civil liberties campaigner says the move to have front-line officers carry tasers at all times while on duty has been rushed in without public debate.

Until now, they have only had access to them from lockboxes kept in vehicles.

Sergeant Darrin Putt demonstrates the use of a taser.

Sergeant Darrin Putt demonstrates the use of a taser. Photo: RNZ / Samuel White

Barry Wilson, from the Auckland Council for Civil Liberties, said it was a major change in public policy and should have been introduced as a law change only after a proper debate in parliament.

He said there had already been cases where officers had broken protocols and used excessive force with their tasers.

Mr Wilson feared it was a step closer to arming the police with guns.

The roll-out of the new policy began yesterday, though it could be weeks or even months before all front-line officers are carrying tasers.

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