Christchurch police lift firearms directive

Frontline police in the Canterbury region will no longer carry firearms on their person following the arrest of a young man earlier today.

The 20-year-old who was sought by police in relation to a firearms incident on Anzac Drive in the early hours of Saturday, February 23.

"He was located by police in Papanui at 2.15pm today and was taken into custody without incident," police said in a statement.

"The man has been charged with using an imitation firearm against Police and is due to appear in Christchurch District Court on Monday 4 March 2019.

"The Routine Carriage of Firearms directive has been lifted."

Last week it was announced frontline police officers would carry firearms following three incidents involving guns in one week.

Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price made the decision after one man was shot by police after he failed to stop.

He said while the other man was on the run, officers would be armed.

"Until he is located, or hands himself in, frontline Level 1 responders in Canterbury will be carrying firearms for their own safety and the safety of the public," he said on Friday.

"Our officers are operating in an environment of heightened risk, and they deserve to be kept safe. Their safety is paramount

"My intent is simply that my staff can come to work, complete their shifts to keep the public safe, and return home safely to their families at the end of the day."

However, following the arrest of the 20-year-old in Papanui the directive was lifted.


The reactions I have heard from several people about the arming of frontline police have saddened me. Our police are ordinary people, mums and dads, brothers and sisters, kids and grandparents. They go out and do a job on a daily basis that most of us shy away from, risking their lives to make our communities safer. They want to come home to their families at the end of the day, just like everyone else. Most frontline police want to carry arms all the time.

Last week police were again engaged in several gun fights. The support they got the public was basically that locals hid or locked themselves inside while the frontline policemen dealt with the situation.

I have massive respect for the police. I have Little respect for politicians that want to reduce the sentences criminals receive once processed, and even less for a legal system that continually gets in the way of the police rather than supporting their efforts.

Regardless of whether police are armed, the gang members and drug dealers that are caught are all too frequently well-armed.

I consider it criminal that society expects our frontline police to work in this environment without constant access to arms.