Serious assault on Nth Island policeman

A Kawhia policeman was set upon by up to five people as he attempted to arrest a man for an outstanding warrant.

The attackers knocked the lone policeman to the ground, kicking him as well as taking his taser and radio and dislodging his sidearm.

Inspector Rob Lindsay said that last night's attack was the fifth against members of Waikato police over the holiday period.

"Exactly what has occurred is still being worked through with the priority for the inquiry team being the welfare and safety of our colleague and his family while we seek to identify his attackers.

"Initial indications are that at about 6pm the sole-charge Kawhia officer saw a 19-year-old man who was wanted on warrants to arrest."

"Cambridge staff at that time were at Ngahinapouri and were dispatched to go to the officer's assistance; unfortunatel,y even with the best driver's skills it is still some distance to travel.

"Our staff member has spoken to the 19-year-old and gone to arrest him however a standoff has developed."

Mr Lindsay said the man's father was called to the scene, but instead of helping de-escalate the situation, his arrival made matters worse.

The offender was sprayed with pepper spray which had limited effect. When the officer presented his taser, the offender's father grabbed it, though the officer did manage to deploy it at the main offender.

As the officer attempted to handcuff the main offender he was struck from behind and knocked to the ground.

"From there the officer has been kicked on the ground by a group of what we estimate to be five people and he has crawled into a ball and activated his Officer Safety Alarm."

With reinforcements still some distance away both the officer and Mr Lindsay said the OSA device really came into its own, helping prevent potentially more serious injuries.

"Aware of his isolation North Comms have called out the local Kawhia Volunteer Fire Brigade who arrived at the wharf to see the officer still on the ground being attacked. These firefighters and yet to be identified members of the public have then gone to the officer's aid,"

Mr Lindsay said that such was the ferocity of the attack that at one stage the officer's taser was taken and thrown into the water while his sidearm was dislodged and his radio taken.

"Fortunately for all concerned a member of the public recovered the officer's pistol and took it to the firefighters who secured the weapon.

"A short time later Police reinforcements arrived from across the District and the 19-year-old man, his 49-year-old father and a 21-year-old male associate were arrested without further incident."

The trio appeared in the Hamilton District Court today on aggravated assault and assault with intent to injure charges.

The injured officer was examined at the scene by ambulance staff and a local doctor and will undergo further medical examinations and police interviews today.

"He has suffered serious bruising and grazing to his face, arms and body and is currently recovering with his family.

"The officer has asked me to acknowledge on his behalf the bravery shown by the firefighters and members of the public whose direct action prevented what could have been a far more serious outcome. It is these people who are the true spirit of the Kawhia community."

Mr Lindsay said he had been in contact with the Police National Executive who expressed their concerns in relation to the attack and best wishes for the officer's speedy recovery.

"Here we have a uniformed member of a small community trying to protect that same community. With this being the fifth attack on officers as they try and assist people in need the message needs to be clear that such attacks on our staff will not be tolerated."

Mr Lindsay said it was up to the wider Kawhia community to work with Police to identify the remaining unidentified attackers and anyone with information on their identity or, who may have captured still video images on the attack, to contact Police on 07 858 6200.

Alternatively, information can be left with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

A week, already?

ODT incorporating Otago Witness is cancelled in prep for this forthcoming week of circumspection and restraint.

And so say all of us

Let's see if ffolkes and andystat can go a week without commenting on anything in the paper.

Enough said

I agree also. Plenty more topics here to choose from. See you fellas at the next one

Tired of topic

I do, andystat, I can't speak for the other fellas.

Exhausted?

Do you think we've exhausted this topic for now?

I plead the Fifth Amendment

Or ignorance, in this case. I doubt that Sir W was woolly. He does however, sound like a Whig. Heaven forfend to align myself with Pol Pot, even if NZ procrastined in condemning the KR. You'll understand the Soviet thing: we were young, idealistic. Thank you, andystat, I've learnt something.

The woolly thinker

The woolly thinker was Sir William Blackstone in 1766.

"Historically, those who do not accept the general premise have been characters such as Pol Pot, (a study at Yale University estimated he was responsible for the deaths of over 20% of the Cambodian population,) or Feliks Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police."

Fair point that maybe society is less safe these days, for whatever reason.

That's a 90% success rate

And in my books, good enough. Not perfect, I agree, but a good start. We can work towards a better rate.

In the meantime, my only wishes are for all those guilty that went free, are living nearer to you than me and you can sleep soundly with the knowledge that it's people like you stopping law enforcement protecting themselves and others, and the resulting aftermath.

A far, far better thing to let the guilty go

What woolly thinker came up with this philosophy? Society is about the greater good, not the individual right or wrong. The relative you mention sounds like a good cop. I just wonder if he worked in safer times.

Armed police

"It's better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man be wrongly convicted." 

Subsitute the word 'shot' for 'convicted'.

My brother worked for many years as a police officer and never felt that having a gun would have made him safer nor more effective. 

Dont ask me, ask the Aussies

They armed their officers for a reason and continue to do so. If it was deemed uneffective, would they still be doing it? I think not.

The point that needs to be made is when a police officer asks/tells you to do something, you do it. Pronto!

If that means arming the police to achieve this, then so be it.

At the end of the day, the police are unable to protect the people and themselves with just a taser. How many more of our police need to be injured/killed while on duty before this sinks in for some of you people? I'm sure you would be the first to suggest the same as I, if said police officer was a family member.

But in what way does it work?

But in what way does it work well in Australia?  Is there less crime in Australia now the police are armed?  Is there less gun crime in Australia now the police are armed.  A lot has to do with attitudes towards police and guns.  Having armed police in USA doesn't seem to do a lot to keep down gun crime.  An article by Michael Laws the other day, not someone I normally agree with, pointed out that the detection rate of crime in this country is low.  Addressing that issue might be a more effective route to go down. 

Unsure on evidence

I'm unsure if there is any evidence re armed police/lower crime rate but I do recall an article (from the US, I think) that stated something to the effect that there is a reduced rate of gun crime when the bad guys know there is a high chance of their victim being armed. I'm all for arming our protectors in this country full time as it seems to work well in Australia and that's proof enough for me.

Agreed, that part of the problem was that he was on his own, but I dare say, that is why he had his firearm with him in the first place. The rest of the problem, as hindsight has shown, is that he chose to use the taser first. Good chance he won't make this mistake next time.

More police

Part of the problem in the Kawhia incident was that the policeman was on his own.

Evidence

But people will be tempted to resort to guns when a situation could have been resolved by other means.  It also changes the nature of our police force.  

Most countries have given up capital punishment, mainly because there is no evidence that it affects crime rates.  Similarly is there any evidence to suggest that countries with armed police have a lower violent crime rate than those with unarmed police?

Fair reply but . . .

I suggest you join the police force and go out there unarmed against all those that are illegally armed and see how you feel then. I feel you may then change your mind. No-one respects an unarmed law enforcement officer. No-one.

Tasers are just a joke

There are times when guns are definitely required but Jean Charles de Menedez is sufficient reason to say police should not carry guns routinely.

Tasers are just a joke

And were a great waste of taxpayers' money. Past use of them has shown that few are afraid of them and their effectiveness is dubious at best. I doubt this situation would have escalated to this end result if the pistol had been used in the first instance. Also, the pistol would not have been taken from him if it was in his hand in the first instance. If the police wish not to be continually walked over, it's time for a tougher stance.

Sidearm

More to the point, why didn't he use it? Warning shots.

Waikato police assault

If our police are supposed to be unarmed why was the policeman attacked in Kawhia carrying a pistol?

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