Twenty Seconds on Police General Arming

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Greg O’Connor from the Police Association loses no opportunity to promote general arming of the Police (NZ Herald, 8 October) but a firearm would not have prevented last week’s stabbing of a constable near the Savage Memorial. The Police themselves say there was no indication the offender would become violent, that he “certainly wasn’t aggressive at that stage” and that he “took the officer completely by surprise”. There were three officers present, one of whom was armed with a Taser. Clearly, a firearm would have made no difference to the outcome.

Increasingly, Police management have taken an evidence-based approach to their “use of force” policies – and concluded that there is not a case for general arming. In fact, such evidence as there is indicates that general arming will result in more deaths – of suspects, of police officers and of the general public – not fewer.