Tasers and training are credited with a double-digit drop
in assaults against police.
Recorded offences against police dropped more than 20%
between 2009-10 and 2012-13, figures released under the
Official Information Act figures reveal.
''It is pleasing to see a reduction,'' national manager
operations Superintendent Barry Taylor said.
''But any assaults against police are a concern and it shows
we are on the right path with our training, the tactical
options supplied to our staff and how we are intervening with
the general public.''
The decrease from 2413 assaults (2009-19) to 1763 (2012-13)
coincides with the nationwide introduction of tasers to New
Zealand in March 2010 and the introduction of a new risk
assessment for officers.
The assessment was dubbed TENR - Threat, Exposure Necessity
and Response - which helped officers ''identify all the
factors before they go into a situation''.
In addition, the number of tasers had been increased over the
past 18 months, and they were also more accessible to
officers. Tasers and firearms were now in 908 frontline
If an officer considered they could be put in a situation of
a person trying to self-harm, or where they or a member of
the public could be assaulted, then they were justified in
carrying a taser.
''Tasers are a very good option, but we have to consider all
the tactical options, starting from communication, going
right through to firearms,'' Supt Taylor said.
Police were concerned about any assaults, whether they
resulted in injury or not, he said.
But the number of assaults reducing ''reinforces to me our
development in this area, the tactical options we have
available and our decision-making by our officers is
He hoped the number of assaults against officers would
continue to decrease, in line with the drop in overall crime.
''There is a clear message here that anyone who uses force
and assaults police or any other member of the community will
be held accountable for their actions.''
Southern district recorded 102 assaults in 2012-13, down from
149 in 2009-10.
The Canterbury district was home to the highest number of
assaults against police, 198 in 2012-13.