1 Sep 2010

Police 'set up to fail' without instant arms access

3:04 pm on 1 September 2010

An Australian police union says officers in New Zealand are being set up to fail by not having instant access to firearms or tasers.

Police figures show that, in the year to June, an average of six officers a day in New Zealand were assaulted.

The president of the Queensland Police Union, Ian Leavers, says that since tasers were introduced there in 2007 there has been a noticeable drop in the number of assaults on police.

He says the number and severity of assaults in New Zealand is concerning and officers need to have ready access to weapons rather than having them locked away in a car.

Mr Leavers says his members appreciate having an alternative to a firearm and credits the mere presentation of the taser with diffusing 70% of violent confrontations.