23 May 2010

Police suspend changes to firearms training

2:43 pm on 23 May 2010

The police have suspended plans to reduce the firearms training given to some officers.

The police released plans last year to introduce a three-tiered system that would provide varying levels of training based on estimates of which officers were likely to need firearms.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Operations Win Van der Velde says safety is paramount and further work is required on the changes.

They would have meant some staff, like those in youth aid and traffic units, would not receive firearms training.

The Police Association had labelled the plans "irresponsible", saying traffic officers were often the first to arrive at emergencies involving guns.

It said it was impossible to predict what situations any officer would face and even those in youth education had sometimes been threatened with guns.