Tasers 'extremely useful' - police
Mon, 29 Oct 2012 5:20a.m.
New Zealand police have shot people with Tasers more than 200 times since they were first introduced more than two years ago but say only one person has suffered a severe injury.
They are meeting with their Australian and Singaporean counterparts for the third annual Australasian Taser Conference, which runs for three days from Monday in Wellington.
The NSW ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, wants an overhaul of how Tasers are used after numerous incidents of brutality, misuse and two deaths over two years.
But NZ police believe the Taser - which delivers a 50,000-volt incapacitating blast - has been very successful in "de-escalating dangerous and potentially life-threatening situations".
National operations manager Barry Taylor says the conference will discuss how Tasers are being used and problems with them so police can use them better.
"The conference is a great opportunity to hear from some of the world's leading authorities on Taser, including technical, medical, policy and academic experts," Superintendent Taylor said.
Police were keen to generate as much constructive debate amongst those interested in the Taser debate - from community and human rights groups, to government and non-government agencies and other police jurisdictions, he said.
NZ police started rolling out the Taser to staff in March 2010 following trials.
Currently 908 Tasers are available to officers, with 4700 trained in their use.
Between their rollout and June this year, police had presented or "shown" the Taser 1320 times and discharged it on a further 212 occasions.
That resulted in 13 injuries - one severe, seven moderate and five minor.
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29/10/2012 6:29:52 p.m.
@Carlos when police say "New Zealand police have shot people with Tasers more than 200 times since they were first introduced more than two years ago but say only one person has suffered a severe injury.
To me this is a good result. If Police did not have this option you could have had scores of dead people, who in their brain dead wisdom chose violence to take on the police. This would have in all likelihood ended in death.
29/10/2012 5:24:31 p.m.
Daniel Lang wrote:
One severe injury out of that many times shows that it is working.
29/10/2012 4:01:05 p.m.
@ Carlos, its people like you that make it almost impossible for police to do their jobs properly. How do you suggest they subdue these people? saying "stop please" doesnt work. and if you get a tazer pulled on you by a police officer then you are doing something very wrong. If we expect police to protect us then they need the right equiptment to do so, I know that if I had a tazer pointed at me by a cop I would do what I was told
29/10/2012 1:32:00 p.m.
All evidence to date, both from NZ and elsewhere around the world shows clearly, to me, that these weapons should either not be available to anybody, or available to all.
All police forces that use these lethal weapons, use them lethaly, sooner or later.
In my opinion, if supposedly well trained, professional, police are unable to subdue without the resort to lethal force then they have failed miserably, and we need to look elsewhere.
29/10/2012 12:19:45 p.m.
this country is a joke they dont give a stuff about cops here .
29/10/2012 9:59:19 a.m.
It's pathetic that NZ Police/prison guards can't protect themselves adequately, and go into situations without the right equipment - something needs to be done asap about this.
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