NEW ZEALAND – Police to continue using tasers (2102-10-30)

Published on October 30 2012 by admin

[[SUMMARY / COMMENTS : At a 4-day “Australasian Electronic Device conference” in Wellington, New Zealand, New Zealand police say they will not consider stopping the use of tasers. The police say that sionce Tasers were introduced in New Zealand in March 2010 after being trialled in 2006 and 2007 they have discharged tasers 212 times, with no life-threatening injuries sustained. Police say tasers reduce the need for lethal weapons and they rely on them to de-escalate dangerous situations, while recognizing that people with mental health issues and the aboriginal population are recognized as problems. Police say their record-keeping is very careful, unlike the United States.]]

Radio New Zealand

Police from New Zealand, Britain, Australia, the United States and Singapore, as well as some agencies and experts in tasers, are in Wellington for a four-day Australasian Electronic Device conference.

The use of the device, medical impacts on people, different technologies and responses to incidents involving tasers are being discussed.

Tasers were introduced in New Zealand in March 2010 after being trialled in 2006 and 2007. Police have discharged tasers 212 times, with no life-threatening injuries sustained.

Superintendent Barry Taylor, the national manager of operations, said on Tuesday that tasers reduce the need for lethal weapons and police rely on them to de-escalate dangerous situations.

Within months of the device’s introduction, police faced criticism over the number of people with mental illnesses being tasered.

Mr Taylor says the over-representation of minority groups in taser incidents is something police are conscious of and they are working with the Ministry of Health on the issue of dealing with mentally impaired people.

NZ policies praised

Howard Williams, an expert on taser use praised New Zealand police for their policies and record-keeping around the use of the device.

Mr Williams told the conference on Tuesday that New Zealand has far more robust taser recording procedures than the United States, where injury or deaths often occur when tasers are used while taking people into custody and not reported.

He says America has very poor record-keeping and police departments have their own individual approach and training programmes.

Mr Williams says New Zealand has a consistent approach, a centralised documentation system and rules regarding the use of tasers.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/119521/police-to-continue-using-tasers

 

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