Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says changes to the tactical response model will not change New Zealand’s approach to policing in any way.
Yesterday, the government announced that it would invest $ 45 million to fund improvements to the Armed Criminal Brigade, including tactical equipment, front-line training, intelligence analysis and additional personnel. Police Minister Poto Williams said the move was designed to improve security for officers on the front line.
Coster said Morning report none of the new roles would be routinely armed. He said that the Armed Response Teams, which were rejected after a trial, had no buy-back from the community because the personnel were armed.
“This model does not represent any change in the police weapons policy,” he said.
“It has been designed with the intention that we remain a generally disarmed service.
“Armed response teams were generally armed and patrolling communities that way and that is what raises significant community concerns. The model we announced yesterday was to make sure we had properly trained personnel available to respond when needed. .patrolling in this way in the communities and in general armed “.
Coster said the tactical teams would be sent to high-risk situations and would not target Maori and peaceful communities, and would target high-level organized crime.
“The additional highly trained staff will be available in two capacities: one, working alongside dog handlers who are currently deployed alone right now. They are already dealing with some of our riskiest incidents. Therefore, they will be better supported and be available to deal with a wider range of incidents as a two-seater vehicle.
“The other part is, teams that are currently focused on investigating organized crime and prolific, high-risk criminals. That will be their day job, but in turn to respond to something more critical, then they can be called on the front line. “
“They will end up being used in high-risk situations. Those will be where you have firearms that are being used in the community against the police. In situations that involve high-level organized crime. They will not be used for routine surveillance and frankly it will have lots of other things to focus on when not needed for emergency work. “
Inquire about a couple’s trip from Auckland to Wanaka
Coster said it took longer than he would have liked to charge an Auckland couple for violating the Health Order by traveling to Wanaka two weeks ago, as their city was at alert level 4.
William Willis and Hannah Rawnsley have now been charged with violating lockdown regulations.
Coster said Morning report He said the nature of the alleged crime made it a complex case and that the couple did not receive any special treatment from the police.
“Obviously, there is a bit of complexity where people have had a legitimate permit to cross, but then they have misused it to do something else. So it took us a while to work on all of that. But the charges are now being brought up. out and you’re in front of the court. “
Coster did not want to know if the couple would be charged with more crimes.
“I’m not going to comment on that at this stage. If the investigation team has anything to say about it, we will … it just shouldn’t comment on the details of the case because it is before the court.” he said.
The first day of the Level 3 alert in Auckland saw a significant increase in traffic, reflected in the number of vehicles pulling away from police checkpoints.
Travel through border checkpoints remains strictly limited and only for approved personal or work reasons.
Coster said people should not become complacent and try to cross the border at the alert level without a legitimate reason.
“Our staff report a large number of vehicles and for the most part, they are people who think they have the right to cross, but have no evidence to show that they are. They need to be able to cross, in other cases it could be that people do not understand the rules “.