Should We Arm The Police?
Should New Zealand Police Carry Guns?
The new Police Commissioner, Peter Marshall, was interviewed on TV One News last night, 5th April 2011.
He thought that Police should not carry guns on them, but that guns and tazers should be more available to Police.
The Police Commissioner came across as very sensible, learned, relaxed and confident as he explained to the interviewer why he has decided not to arm New Zealand Police with firearms.
One of the Breakfast Show hosts on Channel One this morning, 6 April, commented on how refreshing it was to hear this new commissioner speaking so candidly about his decision.
The Police Commissioner said that he had done a lot of reading on the matter of arming Police, and that research overseas has shown that giving police firearms does not lower levels of crime: A policeman with a gun often becomes a target, simply BECAUSE he has a gun. Also, there is always a possibility that an officer will be tempted to use the gun on impulse, simply because he has one on him.
There is also a possibility that the gun might be taken off a policeman, and used against him.
Give Police More Access To Guns: Police Commissioner Peter Marshall’s idea that Police should have more access to guns, that a gun should be contained in the car of every Police car, and that Tazer guns should be available, I thought was all very sensible.
The people who argue that police need guns because of violence done to Police do not see that the situation could be made WORSE by giving Police guns. Giving Police guns is not necessarily going to mean that the situation will improve, as Police Commissioner Peter Marshall has indicated.
TV One New Zealand this morning discussed the decision by Peter Marshall and viewers were invited to send in their opinions.
One opinion was that New Zealand needs more Police, not more guns.
Less Incidence of Crime When More Police Are On The Job: Apparently crime has dropped, and there are less injuries to policemen in the Manukau area of Auckland, where numbers of Police have been dramatically increased. The Police Commissioner used this example to strengthen his case that New Zealand would be better off with more police personnel, rather than guns, because having more police on the job has proved to lower the incidence of crime.
The Police Commissioner Peter Marshall also said that it would be a priority, while he is in charge of the Police, to investigate ‘Police Culture’, which has come under scrutiny in the past year or so.