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Well spoken Police Commissioner

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, September 12th, 2015 - 27 comments
Categories: law and "order", police - Tags: , ,

Thank you Mike Bush:

Police should remain unarmed: Commisioner Mike Bush

Despite the number of armed incidents recently police should remain unarmed, the Police Commissioner says.

In a blog released today, Mr Bush said the incident highlighted the unpredictable and dangerous events police officers sometimes face.

Although there had been a number of armed incidents in recent weeks, it was important to remember these events were extremely rare, Mr Bush said.

It was also rare for police to have to use lethal force, he said. These incidents should never be used as a reason to arm police, he said. The police and the public were safer if they were not armed with guns, Mr Bush said.

27 comments on “Well spoken Police Commissioner ”

  1. While I agree with the Police Commissioner in this instance, doesn’t his statement simply reinforce the Ministers position?

    Mr Woodhouse as Police Minister was told of the Taser expansion once it had been decided by police, and his spokeswoman confirmed any decision to arm police with guns would be the Police Commissioner’s call.

    • aerobubble 2.1

      For some years now Police have had access to guns, not all police.
      Police spokespersons have been calling for fully arming police.
      Guns have always been available in nz.
      So I would argue that criminals are now realizing they need to take a weapon.
      It would not be so had Police so public called for arming.
      The day all police have side arms will a sad day.
      Yet gun crimes are still rare, so why all the chatter.
      Well there are vocal media groups who want side arms.

    • Ad 2.2

      Well said Naturesong.

      All very well for the Commissioner to not seek perpetual access to guns, but where was he when it came to the permanent installation of Tasers?

      The Commissioner was quite happy to timely announce Tasers as an operational matter, and the Minister of Police was duly “informed” less than a day in advance.

      If the Commissioner really is separate from politics, he should have the guts then to open up the public debate both about guns, and Tasers. Tasers on all beat cops was a significant shift in both operational and public policy.

      Clearly he’s happy to step into the public arena when his news is palatable and easy. So he should be just as happy to front up and start real public policy debate when the proposal isn’t so palatable. If he can’t do that, then he should properly brief his Minister and let the Minister open up proper scrutiny about it through the media.

      • Adele 2.2.1

        Teenaa koe, Ad

        I remain polarised on using tasers.

        I was raised with old people who passed on a deep distrust of Police. Maaori communities way back when were treated badly by Police. It can be said nothing has changed.

        However, I have also seen the violence within communities and some of it is truly scary shit.

        Individual Police Officers do require an arsenal of tools short of lethal force to counter this violence. In my opinion, the taser is an opportunity to keep someone alive (be it Police person or Perpetrator).

        Guns invite death. The Commissioner obviously understands this.

  2. Tracey 3

    work is dangerous too, more people die going to work than are murdered, so do we need to stop working?

  3. John 4

    Commissioner Bush is being very dishonest here. He knows the only reason that the police will not be armed is that the police budget does not allow for the huge extra costs involved and he is too weak and dishonest to tell the Minister of Police this. He also fails to state that arms training has been cut right back and a large number of cops who are front line have been reclassified to avoid the expense of training them. Time for OSH to have a good look and time for Bush to man up and tell it like it is

    • red-blooded 4.1


      I’m very glad to live in a society in which the police do not carry firearms. It’s bad enough that they have been creeping closer and closer with tasers and firearms in cars. If anyone’s being disingenuous here it’s that idiot from the Police Association who takes every possible opportunity to get into the media and push for handguns. A few years ago he was arguing that tasers would solve everything. Well, golly, that didn’t turn out to be true… I heard him the other day commenting that in past times police might be confronted by criminals with bats or knives, while they were now armed with guns. It didn’t even occur to him to wonder if this might be at least partly a result of the police become more and more heavily armed.

      Oh, and by the way, you’re showing some of your inherent biases with the use of phrases like “man up”, John. Just saying…

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        I’m against arming police. That said, guns don’t kill people, police do. Compare the USA and Holland for example.

      • JanM 4.1.2

        Yes, that Police Association chappie is way past his use-by date isn’t he!

      • Gabby 4.1.3

        It didn’t occur to him that the increasing availability of firearms to crims just might have something to do with the Police not doing their job.

        • Lanthanide

          I’d say the biggest factor, for rifles and other guns that are readily available from hunting stores etc, is simply the price.

          Just like microwaves, fridges, shoes and other such goods, I’m sure the price of guns over the past 20-30 years has stayed largely stable, while inflation and incomes have marched up, making guns comparatively much cheaper than they used to be.

      • AB 4.1.4

        I’d guess that more innocent people will die if the police do routinely have guns, than if they don’t.

  4. Scottie 5

    Tracey do you just throw that crap out there to see what comes back? Who cares if policemen and women are murdered when they are carrying out their duty of protecting the public eh?
    The reason the Police are not permanently armed is because of the introduction of Tazers. A better option which saves many lives including members of the public, criminals and police.
    Arming the police is not required yet but unfortunately it will be within 10 years as more deaths result from gun crime.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Says who?

      Last I heard, violent crime per capita was decreasing, following what looks like an international trend.

      Your emotive fear-mongering suggests that you might be clutching the belief-straw a little too hard.

      Edit *snap* R-B.

  5. red-blooded 6

    So, “more deaths result from gun crime” do they, Scottie?

    In the history of NZ, 29 police have been killed in the line of duty. Each one of those deaths is terrible, but there has certainly not been a spike in police deaths by gunshot. Since 1990, 4 police have died from gunshot (5 if you count an officer who was shot repeatedly by someone with an air rifle). How does that compare with earlier times? Well, ignoring mass shootings like the one in which Stanley Graham killed 4 officers in 1949, there really hasn’t been a spike. If we look at the first 20 years of records, for example (starting in 1890), there were 3 deaths from shooting at a time when the population of the country was about 1/4 what it is now.


    It’s easy to use emotive rhetoric, Scottie. How about a few facts (or do you just throw that crap around)?

  6. infused 7

    Well, considering all their cars are now loaded with guns, doesn’t really matter does it.

  7. Scottie 8

    Red blooded, interesting you have the policeman shot with an air rifle in brackets. He was executed with a different type of rifle, that’s all. Since 1990 that’s a lot of police people killed who were unarmed. 5 young people went to work to protect us, on a modest salary, and did not come home. How can the govt better protect the people they employ to protect us?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      How about they avoid creating the kind of economic and penal conditions in which crime flourishes? Plenty of good examples to choose from.

  8. red-blooded 9

    Hey, I put the air rifle incident separately because there has always been free access to air rifles with no age restrictions or licenses needed, so it’s really a different discussion. I don’t see you addressing my main point, Scottie. I do see more emotive rhetoric.

    While it’s not really relevant to this discussion, police pay is by no means “modest”. They get paid a lot more than plenty of people with much greater qualifications requirements. Besides, nobody here is arguing it’s OK to kill police. The discussion is about whether it’s necessary and what the real consequences of such a change in policy would be. If we want criminals to routinely arm themselves with guns, then we should arm police. If we want people with mental illnesses to die when they have extreme episodes in public, then we should arm police. If we want more police to face guns then we should give them guns. Is that what we want?

  9. Scottie 10

    Red blooded, As you say let’s keep on topic. I objected to Tracey’s juvenile assertion that because some people die going to work it is acceptable for some Police to die doing their job.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      Are you saying Policing is more dangerous than worm-farming?

      These are not the advocates for death at work you are looking for.

  10. Scottie 11

    No I guess worm farmers need support and fair pay too 👍🏻

  11. red blooded 12

    “Red blooded, As you say let’s keep on topic.”
    Hey, Scottie, who brought up pay in the first place?

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