I never imagined I would be in favour of arming the Police but when situations change, so too must one’s opinion.

We’re told a significant majority of police officers are in favour of being armed, hardly surprising given a quarter of the force have experienced confrontations with armed offenders.

The current situation goes beyond officers being killed, rather far too many are being injured, often seriously, in confrontations with mobs.

Australian police all carry visible pistols yet we do not read of suspect police gun use incidents, as is commonplace in America.

We have a shortage of police officers resulting in constant complaints of delayed responses to criminal activity and despite heavy recruitment advertising.

Probably the typical policeman is a family man. How many one can only speculate are under wifely pressure to quit on safety grounds.

The major culprits are the maori gangs, all now seemingly armed. Mostly they shoot one another which no-one is unhappy about but there are far too many incidents involving their attacks on innocents.

Polls show the public are against arming the police, thus a poll-driven government will not act. But I suspect that view will change as the current violence crime wave continues to grow.


This is clearly a question for a national referendum at the next election. I despair at how little use is made of this democratic device.

They do have handguns in a safe in the boot of the Patrol car, I understand. Plus armed offenders squads on call.

In the UK cities highly trained armed police units are on patrol ready to provide rapid support when needed. I think this approach is a reasonable progression for NZ Police.

Well said. Truncheon’s were great way back when, and 4 cell torches better (no paperwork), but with the introduction of LED mini lights you’re going to backed into a corner fairly quickly so you’d have to taser you way out. Not a good option confronting a well armed gang prospect.
The Glock 17 is available and should be issued this afternoon.

Having had several encounters with NZ Police personnel over the last 25 years, most of the time in my professional capacity not theirs, I’m opposed to openly arming police.

While older, more experienced (always) men usually impress the young men and women I encountered were mostly badly trained, unimpressive bullies.

I doubt arming these cowboys further (guns are in every police car) will improve anything.

Passing legislation to arm the Police would be admitting the Govt’s ill thought out and poorly implemented gun legislation failed miserably, so don’t hold your breath.

Firearms training and lots of it. Training. More training. Self control/training.
New recruits and basic training upgrades get a small amount of time behind a gun.
Lots of friendly/shooting oneself incidents from trainees I gather.

You’re right, but also please let’s not forget technology. A network of say 1,000 small and remote-controlled sniper drones, positioned evenly throughout Auckland (grounded before being activated), can reach any point in the city within ~30 seconds — and it’s actually cheap. That’s how you arm the police in the 2020’s.

Ideas for interest:

I agree-so long as it goes hand-in-hand with the following.
Some kind of RICO laws with teeth to crush gangs and some heavyweight tax laws and social welfare changes to remove their ill gotten gains.
Gangs are the gun-toting criminals. Dilute their impact and then the Police can go back to being unarmed.

I’m not so much in favour of arming the police, but rather rounding up all the gang members and sterilising them.

    Yes! And I think we should bring back the ‘stock’ as an additional punishment. Put a set up in the main street of every town and lock the bastards into it…then we can throw rotten tomato’s etc at them with no threat of a back lash.

The only thing these thugs understand is the threat of recieving the same or much greater violence than they dish out and some of them when faced with this prospect may stop to consider their options,however those with small or no contents in the cranial vault should reap what they sow and a well trained armed officer who is backed up by his superiors when they fire back or proactively is an absolute no brainer

Yes as Kevin says they are undertrained in firearm use. They only practice once a year, and most of them couldn’t hit a barn door with a hand gun. The Scottish police were carrying semi automatics last time I was there, that may be what PC Plod needs, more firepower than the gangs !

In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) all carry firearms and like Australia they are rarely accused on being quick to use them. Few of the citizenry are armed so little armed response is required. However, it is comforting to know the RCMP can fend for themselves and regular folk when asked to do so. The US is different where the armed gangs are nearly always armed and liable to shoot at police.

    And yet the reality is very different.

    “In reality, only slightly more than a quarter — 27 percent — of officers say they’ve ever fired their guns on the job,” This was a couple of years ago and covered over 8,000 officers throughout the US.

I covered much of this with a post in 2019 at No Minister, Testing Targets, and I concluded that:

If NZ cops are going to insist on carrying handguns then they’ll need to have far better and more frequent training or they’ll end up with similar problems to the USA. Moreover, I’d insist on regular reports on all this from the Police to Parliament, not just to the Minister of Police.

The USA problems being that, contrary to Hollywood images, American cops just don’t train much with their weapons at all. Basically an annual certification, with the result that:

…according to an early 2000’s Police Policy Studies Council report. It showed that in 1990, NYPD officer hit potential was only 19%. Put another way, 81% of the rounds they fired at criminals missed.

At less than three yards, they hit only 38% of the time. From 3-7 yards, 17% and from 8-15 yards, only 9%. The report has more recent data from other US Police Departments that show the same thing, with only small variations in the percentages.

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