Most people will be pleased to know cops won’t continue to point semi-automatic assault rifles in their faces over routine matters, although many will not be reassured by the comment “everyday police patrol cars have Glock pistols and Bushmaster rifles in them for officers to use when needed.” From the Newshub website:
Police commissioner Andrew Coster says Armed Response Teams (ART) will not be continued beyond their initial trial.
In a statement on Tuesday, Coster said ARTs will not be part of the policing model in future.
“It is clear to me these response teams do not align with the style of policing that New Zealanders expect,” he said.
The news follows widespread outrage over the proposal to arm police, with people concerned it would disproportionately impact Māori and Pasific people.
Action Station surveyed 1155 Māori and Pasifika people and found 85 percent of those surveyed did not support the trial going ahead, 87 percent felt less safe knowing there were armed police in their community and 91 percent would not call the police for help if they knew they had guns on them.
The ARTs were brought in by previous commissioner Mike Bush following the Christchurch shootings in March 2019.
Bush said the six-month trial, which ended in April, would see armed officers responding to “serious crime”.
However, data obtained by Newshub showed the ARTs mostly responded to traffic stops.