Focus on the "why" for shootings

NZPA | Fri July 15th, 2016

"While there has been much discussion and commentary on police actions following events in Hamilton and Rotorua this week, it is important to also address the reasons why two men acted in such an irrational, dangerous and threatening manner that police were forced to use lethal force to protect themselves and others," Police Association President Greg O'Connor said today.

Mr O'Connor was commenting after the shooting of two men by police this week.

"The common denominator in both events was methamphetamine," he said.
"Frontline police officers are reporting that methamphetamine use is endemic and in many areas it is more prevalent and easier to acquire than cannabis," Mr O'Connor said.

"This is being reflected in the irrational behaviour of offenders; the same behaviour displayed by the two men police were forced to use firearms against this week.

“The Methamphetamine Action Plan launched in 2008 has been unsuccessful, and needs to be revisited. Recent large seizures are evidence of that.

"Police actions should always scrutinised in absolute detail following any shooting – by the IPCA, the Coroner and through a criminal inquiry. However, it is also important that the environmental factors contributing to the behaviour of offenders is also examined to then minimise and prevent, where possible, the behaviours that lead to police having to use lethal force. “Methamphetamine is the most prevalent factor at present," Mr O'Connor concluded.

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