Media Releases Thu, 13 Sep 2018 12:34:33 +1200 Thu, 13 Sep 2018 12:34:33 +1200 Attempts to shoot officers horrifies Association <h2> The near miss shooting of two police officers in Otahuhu last night has horrified Police Association President Chris Cahill.</h2> <p>“It is purely a matter of luck that we do not have one or two injured or killed officers,” he said.</p> <p>“Had the alleged shooter not had the safety catch on his firearm, or if he’d had time to take off the catch before attempting to fire the second time, this frightening incident could have been so much worse.”</p> <p>Mr Cahill said he is relieved the officers were not injured, and the association is doing all it can to support them.</p> <p>“We are so proud of these officers who responded so professionally in saving themselves and still managing to arrest the offender,” he said.</p> <p>However he said politicians and the wider community should take this as a wake-up call.</p> <p>“It is exactly the sort of incident the association has been speaking of with respect to the proliferation of illegal firearms in our communities,” he said.</p> <p>“Unfortunately this was not a surprise.  These close calls happen regularly because there are so many offenders out there with firearms. I am worried when our luck is going to run out.”</p> <p>Mr Cahill said he is also concerned that these officers were taking a Taser to a gunfight.</p> <p>“We know that Tasers are not always effective. They are an excellent deterrent in situations where officers are confronted by offenders armed with weapons including knives, but they are no match for firearms.  In this case they worked and that is a relief.”</p> <p>“Our officers do not go to work to be shot at.  It should never be just part of the job,” Mr Cahill said.</p> Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 12:34 Media Releases World champ Black Ferns captain - NZ Police Association Sportsperson of the Year <p><img alt="Fiao'o" src="/system/files/image/Media Releases/FAAMAUSILI%2C Fiao'o BF 2016 (2) cropped v2.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 242px;" /></p> <h2> Superstar Black Ferns captain Detective Constable Fiao’o Fa’amausili is the NZ Police Association Sportsperson of the Year for the third time, and second year running.</h2> <p><strong>This Friday, as captain of the Black Ferns and one of the most influential players in women’s rugby today, Fiao'o will accept the 2017 award from Association President Chris Cahill.</strong></p> <p>“This award is in recognition of another year of great achievements in both national and international rugby.” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>As well as taking out the Rugby World Cup in Belfast last year, Fiao’o:</p> <ul> <li> As a Black Fern, became New Zealand’s most capped player, reaching 50 tests at the World Cup (now 52)</li> <li> Played with Auckland Club women’s champions Marist</li> <li> Reached 100 games for the Auckland Storm</li> <li> Was named No.1 hooker in the Women’s World 15 rugby team</li> <li> Chosen as the NZ Herald New Zealander of the Year</li> </ul> <p>Her Black Ferns team was named the World Rugby Team of the Year at the World Awards and at home - ASB Team of the Year.</p> <p>This year she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours for her services to sport.</p> <p>“Fiao’o’s work ethic and willingness to take on a challenge has earned her respect from her colleagues, fellow athletes, and the wider community. Her achievements reflect positively on Police too,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“Train hard or go home” is her motto and the physicality and mental preparation is what she loves about rugby.</p> <p>“You’ve got to go in hard and tough it out, much like the situations we come up against in policing,” Fiao’o said.</p> <table border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <h3> NZ Police Sportsperson of Year award background</h3> <p>Since 2002 the NZ Police Association has sponsored the Police Sportsperson of the Year Award, acknowledging the outstanding national sporting excellence achieved by members of Police. For over 40 years, this award has recognised members of Police who have excelled at their sport at a national level. It is organised by Police Sport.</p> <p>Previous nominees and recipients include:</p> <p>Rachel Clarke, Champion Surf Skier; Selica Winiata, Black Fern; Melissa Mae Ruru, NZ Volleyballer; Fiao'o Fa'amausili, world champion Black Fern; Sian Law, Commonwealth Games Wrestler; Jeff McGrath, Ironman/Triathlete; Grainne Scott, MVP NZ Lacrosse Team & Captain Canterbury Women’s Ice Hockey Team; Michelle Nunn, Captain of the NZ Women’s Wheel Chair Basketball Team - the Wheel Ferns; Cowboy Action Shooting World Champion Tracey Ball; NZ Black Cap cricketer Shane Bond; Atlantic Rowers Steve Westlake and Matt Goodman; Silver Fern Jenny-May Coffin; All Blacks Murray Pierce; John Gallagher and Blair Larsen; Kiwi rugby league star Sam Stewart; All White Roger Gray; Hockey internationals Shane Collins, Scott Anderson and Karen Smith; cricketer Sarah Illingworth; lawn bowler Phil Skoglund; triathlete Steve Farrell; athlete Andrew Collin; and martial artist Karen Vaughan.  </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> </p> Friday, July 27, 2018 - 13:22 Media Releases Dangerous spate of ramming assaults on cop cars <p><strong>The Police Association is disturbed at what appears to be a growing trend of offenders deliberately ramming police officers and their cars.</strong></p> <p>“These incidents seriously endanger the lives of the police officers, put at risk innocent members of the public and the offending drivers themselves, and they cause thousands of dollars of damage to the patrol cars,” Association Vice-president Craig Tickelpenny said.</p> <p>“Ramming police officers and/or their vehicles is only going to increase the severity of the charges against the offending driver when he or she is caught and as we saw in New Plymouth earlier this month, it is a practice that can quickly turn deadly,” Mr Tickelpenny said. </p> <p>The latest incident occurred in Taupo on Wednesday night.</p> <p>“A Police vehicle was rammed just before midnight by a fleeing driver in a stolen SUV.  The two officers were injured and when they restarted their now severely damaged patrol car in order to leave the scene and wait for back-up, they were followed by the offender,” Mr Tickelpenny said.</p> <p>“The offender was eventually tracked down and arrested at a Taupo motel.”</p> <p>Last Thursday a Hamilton man driving erratically in a stolen 4WD ute with a horse float attached and two horses inside, rammed a Police car which tried to stop him. The driver has pleaded guilty to 12 charges. </p> <p>In New Plymouth on 7 May a car that police tried to pull over for speeding reversed and rammed into the patrol car and immobilised it.  The pursuit was abandoned and the driver fled, only to be found dead a few minutes later having crashed into a power pole.</p> <p>In Morrinsville on 5 May a stolen truck that had rammed into the front doors of the Morrinsville police station then drove towards officers twice only to be stopped when the officers shot out the truck’s front tyre.</p> <p>In Christchurch at the beginning of the month a fleeing driver tried twice to run over two officers who had laid road spikes to stop him.  </p> <p>“There were also incidents in Mangere in March, Henderson in February and Northland and Tauranga in January in which officers were injured and vehicles severely damaged,” Mr Tickelpenny said.</p> <p>“The Association is very concerned at this type of behaviour which shows reckless disregard for the lives of our members and anyone else who may be in the path of the offender.  Police are under extreme pressure on the frontlines every day.  They can do without adding ramming injuries and written-off patrol cars to their list of concerns on the job.”  </p> <p>A police officer was killed by a fleeing driver in 2008 while laying road spikes in Porirua, and at the end of last year an officer was seriously injured and hospitalised after being hit while laying road spikes in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.</p> Friday, May 18, 2018 - 13:23 Media Releases Budget cements critically needed extra police <p><strong>The Police Association has commended the government on today’s budget confirmation of 1800 extra police and 485 additional non-sworn Police employees.</strong></p> <p>“This $300 million commitment to policing is a serious one that is desperately needed to address the growing pressures on frontline 24/7 staff.  The frontline should be the first cab off the allocation rank”, Association Vice-President Craig Tickelpenny said.</p> <p>“We have always made it very clear to the minister that staffing issues top the list of concerns our members have, and we are pleased our voice has been heard.” </p> <p>“We have been assured by Police Minister Stuart Nash that these new officers will be fully costed at $140,000 each to be duty ready – salary, training and equipment needed to do their jobs effectively and safely.  </p> <p>“The Association is also very pleased to hear the Minister’s aim is to reach a police-to-population ratio of 1:470 by 2020 – a tough call, and if it can be achieved, it will be a considerable improvement on the current 1:538,” Mr Tickelpenny said.   </p> <p>“The number of officers and non-sworn staff announced today incorporates the 880 officers and 245 non-sworn previously announced in February 2017 by National, but from the Association’s position, what matters is the number of fully funded officers on the beat, not which government delivers them.</p> <p>“It is sometimes easy for those outside policing to forget that when governments increase the number of police officers, they also need to increase the number of non-sworn Police employees who are essential to efficient and successful policing.”</p> <p>The Association will be watching closely the appointments of authorised officers in terms of the type of work they will be doing and where they will be located. </p> <p>“While we have some misgivings about the allocation of 700 (40 per cent) of the new officers to organised crime, we hope any concerns about such a commitment to organised crime will be satisfied when the deployment details are released. </p> <p>“The Association is only too well aware that the tentacles of methamphetamine have spread throughout the country.  Meth and gangs are intrinsically linked and increasingly implicated in our rising crime rate, serious and organised crime in particular,” he said.</p> <p>At this stage, the Association is not fazed by the minister’s use of the description that the coalition will “strive” towards this extra police muster over the next three years.</p> <p>“That said, we will expect transparency to ensure every effort is made to keep this promise,” Mr Tickelpenny said.</p> <p>The Association knows it will be a massive effort to recruit 1800 new officers over three years.  This requires not just 600 a year for three consecutive years, but another 400 each year to compensate for attrition.  We also need to assure New Zealanders that the standard to which the new recruits are trained is of the highest quality and that they are ready to hit the streets when they graduate.</p> <p>The Association’s 2017 survey of its members revealed that for 38 per cent, staffing shortages are the top-of-mind concern.</p> <p>That represents a 9 per cent increase on our 2015 survey and it is no surprise to the Association that 24/7 frontline staff have the strongest misgivings about policing work pressures.  </p> <p>Police respond to more than one million events a year, and answer almost as many 111 emergency calls, including suicide and non-suicide mental health 111 calls.</p> <p>To the Association and many others, it seems that Police has become the country’s default mental health crisis service, so we absolutely welcome the Budget increases related to mental health and family harm issues.</p> <p>“Adequately funding these societal stressors will first of all assist those who need them, but also relieve police of a major component of a frontline officer’s workload,” Mr Tickelpenny said. </p> <p>Analysis of non-suicide mental health 111 calls shows a 77 per cent increase in calls between 2009 and 2016, and in some areas of the country those calls for service have more than doubled.</p> <p>In Tasman District, the increase was just under 260 per cent.  In Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty and Central, these calls have more than doubled, and throughout the rest of the country they are up significantly. </p> <p>Suicide callouts increase about 9 per cent year on year, police officers respond to a family harm incident every five minutes, and every day they attend thousands of other events including hundreds of traffic incidents.</p> <p>“These are not ‘drop-in-and-drop-out’ events and family harm and mental health calls now account for 70 per cent of a frontline officer’s work.” </p> Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 14:56 Media Releases Help on the gun and drug fronts is on the way <p><strong>Two bills which will likely find support from the Police Association </strong><strong>were pulled from the Member’s ballot today</strong><strong>.</strong></p> <p>Paula Bennett’s <a href="" target="_blank">Arms (Firearms Prohibition Orders) Amendment Bill</a> seeks to amend the Arms Act 1983 by providing new powers for Police to ban gang members from owning firearms, while not putting unnecessary restrictions on legal gun owners.</p> <p>“This is a good law – anything that makes life more uncomfortable for gang members has to be good", Police Association President Chris Cahill said.</p> <p>Jami-Lee Ross’ <a href="" target="_blank">Land Transport (Random Oral Fluid Testing) Amendment Bill</a> will introduce a more effective regime for detecting drug driving in relation to THC, MDMA, and methamphetamine, by allowing for random oral fluid testing (saliva testing) by enforcement officers.</p> <p>President Chris Cahill indicated early support for the bill, saying, “Safer roads – a great move.”</p> <p>The Police Association will follow the progress of both of these bills with interest.</p> Friday, May 4, 2018 - 08:07 Media Releases Police Association President’s speech to Otago University firearms and public health seminar <p>This morning, Police Association President Chris Cahill addressed a firearms and public health seminar run by the University of Otago. His speech was focused on how firearms impact on the health and safety of the Association’s members.</p> <p> </p> <h3> Address to Public Health Summer School, 14 February 2018</h3> <h3> Chris Cahill</h3> <h3> President, NZ Police Association</h3> <p>The Police Association welcomes the timing of this symposium because it is clear to us that New Zealand needs to have a co-operative, common sense conversation about firearms.</p> <p>We need to avoid resorting to extremes which we see paralysing jurisdictions such as the United States. </p> <p>It has to be noted that the NRA has even inserted itself into our firearms debate labelling last year’s select committee recommendations as “onerous”, a “repugnant attack”, “burdening license holder’s rights”, ”extreme”, “misleading”, “invasion of privacy” and undermining the “right” to be armed.</p> <p>There is no “right to be armed” and New Zealanders do not need such “assistance” as we tackle the public health ramifications of home-grown gun violence.</p> <p>In our society there are many groups with legitimate interest in the availability, use and control of firearms.  The corresponding interest is how to prevent those guns reaching the hands of criminals.  </p> <p>The Police Association exists to be the trusted guardian of the wellbeing of police and their families, so we have a 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year stake in the impact illicit firearms have on the health and safety of our 11,000 plus members, and of course, the wider New Zealand community.</p> <p>Being threatened with a gun should not be just part of a police officer’s job, but unfortunately it is increasingly so, on the front line in particular.</p> <p>In our 2017 members survey one-in-eight constabulary reported being threatened by a firearm once or more in the last year.  That’s a 38% increase on the 2015 survey results.</p> <p>On the front line the figure jumps to 21% threatened at least once in the last year.</p> <p>As New Zealanders – from members of the public to policymakers – we owe it to those who are protecting us to take seriously their health and safety rights.</p> <p>Advocating for public health is all about prevention of illness and injury.  </p> <p>It is about promotion of healthy behaviour in every aspect of community life, including policing. </p> <p>The reality for our communities and for our police officers defies those who write off gun violence as “‘merely a phenomena restricted to gangs”.</p> <p>Tell that to the Wellington taxi-driver shot in a late night debacle over a fare.</p> <p>Tell that to Department of Conservation workers who have been shot at while on the job protecting our environment.</p> <p>Tell that to the numerous dairy owners forced at gunpoint to empty their tills and cigarette shelves.</p> <p>The Association’s beef is not with the majority of legitimate licensed firearms owners.</p> <p>It is with the firearms threats our members face during routine policing because criminals have easy access to firearms.  We also question why so many firearms are imported every year.  </p> <p>Customs OIA figures reveal between 50,000 and 55,000 firearms are legally imported into New Zealand annually.  That is more than half a million guns in the last ten years including high-powered hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols, semi-automatics, and restricted air guns.</p> <p>The potential risks associated with some firearms are, to a degree, ameliorated through the endorsement system, but the numbers in these categories are still large. </p> <p> The latest figures released by Police show they know of:</p> <p>* 13, 331 MSSAs</p> <p>* 40,605 pistols</p> <p>* 1419 other restricted firearms, and</p> <p>* 4,676 restricted sub machine guns (SMGs) and machine guns (MGs).</p> <p>As a society we need to ask why, for example, seven thousand Kiwis need nearly 14,000 military style semi-automatic weapons between them? </p> <p>US research finds gun theft fuels the illegal weapons market and risk factors for having a gun stolen include owning six or more guns, owning guns for protection, carrying a gun in the past month and storing guns unsafely.</p> <p>This is applicable to New Zealand where “issues of firearm safety, enforcement of storage laws and theft of firearms are factors which contribute to violence, injury and death of New Zealanders.”</p> <p>When considering the public health ramifications of firearms we must focus on how criminals access weapons. Police told the Law and Order select committee the majority of illegal handguns have been burgled or ‘on sold’ by a licensed owner to someone without a licence. It seems pretty obvious that can be limited by 1: adhering to the highest standards of firearms safe storage, and 2: don’t sell guns to unlicensed people. </p> <p>According to some licensed dealers, the private firearms-sales business is thriving and often lands a better price for the seller. These dealers consider registration of individual weapons and a gun amnesty could counter what they describe as the “huge problem of private sales”.  </p> <p>We also know the illicit firearms market is partly fuelled by organised criminals buying guns after successfully ‘turning’ collectors and licensed owners, “straw purchasing” on behalf of criminals and illegal importation of firearms and firearms parts.  </p> <p>Under the current legislation I can obtain a firearms licence and buy 100, 200 or whatever number of firearms I desire and there is no record of the size of my cache, just a record of my licence-to-own.</p> <p>Now you might say that Chris Cahill guy seems a fit and proper person and its fine for him to have tens or hundreds of guns, perhaps even a new MSSA which I saw currently advertised as the “civilian version of the standard issue rifle for the People’s Liberation Army of China!”</p> <p>But, what about the patched member of the Headhunters who legally amassed 30-thousand-dollars of high powered and semi-automatic rifles over three years.  By the time Police went to revoke his licence and take his guns, he had already on-sold them.</p> <p>Who knows where they ended up.</p> <p>Way back during Sir Thomas Thorpe’s 1997 review of firearms control, he too noted how pressures on Police to respond to other priorities led to an under-resourcing of the Arms Office.</p> <p>Our research also shows New Zealand authorities have no clear idea of just how many guns are out there and how many of them are illicit.</p> <p>In answer to an OIA on the accuracy of firearms recording in the National Intelligence Application computer system (NIA) Police revealed</p> <p>· there is little knowledge of the requirement to record seized or surrendered firearms;</p> <p>· many firearms officers claimed they didn’t know about the national recording standards;</p> <p>· multiple paper records and recording systems lead to inconsistencies, inaccuracies and make it difficult to collate accurate statistics.</p> <p>This unacceptable level of inaccuracy should worry everyone in this room because it emphasises that we simply do not know the extent of what is essentially a hidden New Zealand arsenal.</p> <p>In a further OIA last November, Police explained that with no requirement for registering firearms and no obligation to provide Police with firearms serial numbers, we can only estimate how many guns there are in New Zealand and Police says that estimate “will not be accurate”.  Police is also unable to reveal how many firearms have been stolen because individual weapons are not tracked.</p> <p>For nine years Canadian police chiefs and police associations urged their government to maintain the country’s long-gun registry.  They argued knowledge of who possesses firearms helps prevent tragic events virtually every day in Canada.  An investigation by Mcleans magazine referred to “3.4 million reasons against scrapping the gun registry”, because that was the number of times the registry was consulted by police in 2009 alone.</p> <p>Police considered the registry “a very basic step in Canadian police work” offering valuable information including whether a licensed gun owner is at a call-out address, and if so, how many guns and what type are registered to that address.  The threat level to officers could then be adjusted accordingly.</p> <p>It was about balancing the loss of information the police obviously wanted, “against the benefit of relieving honest gun owners of the minor inconvenience and expense of registering.”</p> <p>Indeed Montreal’s Premier – owner of two hunting rifles – couldn’t understand the registration fuss, declaring he’s “not at all traumatized by the fact of having to register” his guns.</p> <p>The federal police organisations lost their fight, but Quebec fought on and 16 days ago, after years in the courts, 28 years after Canada’s deadliest mass shooting at a Montreal polytech and on the first anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting, the province’s very own long-gun registry came into effect. </p> <p>The Quebec Superior Court rejected the gun lobby’s final bid to stop the registry ruling that “the Quebec law is essentially about public safety.”</p> <p>New Zealand missed an opportunity to prioritise public safety when the last government rejected all the meaningful recommendations to mitigate illegal firearms put forward by the Law and Order select committee last April.</p> <p>Large numbers of gang members and professional criminals have long had access to firearms but they were generally well-hidden and they were expensive.</p> <p>Now, the once natural instinct of criminals to hide their guns has all but vanished, indicating guns are no longer so expensive or difficult to procure.  Firearms of almost any type can be obtained relatively easily from within the criminal community. </p> <p>Put bluntly, criminals know that the current system which licenses the owner and not the firearm is easy to exploit, poorly policed and poorly monitored. As a result there are too many firearms and too many of the wrong type in the wrong hands in New Zealand.  </p> <p>Whether we like it or not, we live by the truism that law enforcement has to be right all the time; to cause harm law breakers with a gun need to be ‘lucky’ just once.</p> <p>I see daily reports of the front-line reality of illegal firearms. </p> <p>The three officers shot at with an MSSA in Morrinsville last year could so easily have been seriously injured or killed. </p> <p>It requires remarkable bravery to put on the police uniform and go to work every day knowing you might be staring down the barrel of a gun.  It is astounding how many are located in routine policing, searches of vehicles, suspects and properties, or, aimed at officers</p> <p>I‘ll give you a brief synopsis of what our members face nationwide. I think you will get the picture.</p> <p>Te Atatu – officers called to a fight and property search revealed 4  AR15 firearms, 226 .223 calibre rounds, 148 .22 calibre rounds plus 2 kilos of meth and approximately $2.65 million in cash</p> <p>Papakura – a burglary 4 12-gauge shotguns, 3  semi-auto shotguns. 1 .308 rifle, 4000 rounds of 12 gauge ammo</p> <p>Massey –  an AR15 with 60 .223 rounds and pistol located in storage unit</p> <p>Waitematâ – search of an “A’ Cat licence holder’s property after several of the 42 firearms he’d purchased in the last year were seized from offenders, including gang associates</p> <p>Bay of Plenty – a callout to an incident located 1 x bolt action Mauser rifle, 1 x semi auto Remington .308 rifle and scope, 1 x semi-auto Winchester,  1 x lever action Glenfield 3030 rifle and ammo</p> <p>Whanganui - a 2.2 semi auto sawn off aimed at a police officer by an aggravated robbery suspect</p> <p>Palmerston North – police confronted at an address by male with a loaded cut-down firearm</p> <p>Levin – a warrant search of property located 4 rifles, 4 pistols, a shotgun and 540 rounds of ammo  </p> <p>Christchurch  a traffic stop netted a heavily modified semi-auto .22, 2 sawn-off shotguns - the .22 pistol was placed behind the driver for easy access</p> <p>Milton – a near miss when the trigger pulled on a firearm pointed at an officer thankfully malfunctioned </p> <p>Dunedin – a licensed owner burgled of several MSSAs, five rifles, 23 handguns and 25,000 rounds of ammo</p> <p>Invercargill – a routine traffic stop revealed 5 illegal firearms, four of which were loaded with rounds in the chamber ready to fire.</p> <p>That Morrinsville near miss and the tragic fatal shootings of two women in Whangarei last year made the news. Most firearms incidents like those I have just listed do not because police officers do their jobs so well.</p> <p>On balance it is not entirely a bad thing that we don’t have a gun-focused news diet.</p> <p>However the Association believes it is potentially problematic if, as a result, politicians and the public become complacent in a country that might be small on population, but is big on guns.</p> <p>I am often told there is no use in registration of firearms because criminals don’t register their firearms.</p> <p>I think we can agree on that.</p> <p>However my point in advocating for a registry is to build it gradually and without onus on legitimate firearms owners by extending the ‘permits to procure’ process and, during licence renewals and safety storage inspections, the inspecting officer records serial numbers of all firearms present.</p> <p>Surely a small country that registers its cars, boats, dogs, births, deaths and marriages can co-operate on accounting for lethal weapons – who has them, who has on-sold them, who has lost them or had them stolen. These weapons would be far more traceable than is the case now, and we would gradually build a more definitive picture of New Zealand’s hidden arsenal.</p> <p>I don’t buy the seductive simplicity of the argument that registration is an ‘onus’ on law abiding gun owners.</p> <p>This argument fits neatly into what is called the Lawbreaker Paradox that:</p> <p>Law-abiding citizens obey the law;</p> <p>Criminals are, by definition lawbreakers so they don’t obey the law;</p> <p>Laws impose restrictions on the behaviour of those that follow them;</p> <p>Therefore, laws hurt only law abiding citizens.</p> <p>Illicit firearms possession and violence is an everyday issue in policing and simply sticking with the status quo is not working.</p> <p>The select committee could have begun the change in critical areas such as recording serial numbers.  It defies logic that it is too onerous for Police to record serial numbers of firearms when they are already interacting with an owner through licences or inspection.</p> <p>This time last year the Council of Australian Governments published its National Firearms Agreement.  It is based on the premise that “firearms possession and use is a privilege that is conditional on the overriding need to ensure public safety, and, that public safety is improved by the safe and responsible possession, carriage, use, registration, storage and transfer of firearms”.</p> <p>That is a pretty sound definition of where firearms fit within a public health perspective. </p> <p>New Zealand could do well taking a good look at this agreement through the lens of public health on this side of the ditch.</p> Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 12:47 Media Releases Police Association honours two officers with Bravery Awards <p><strong>Two Police officers who demonstrated outstanding courage have each been honoured with the Police Association’s Bravery Award at the 82nd NZPA annual conference in Wellington.</strong></p> <p>Constable Darren Critchley and Senior Constable Ross Andrew, nominated by their peers, were presented with their awards by Rugby great, Sir Brian Lochore, a  former award evaluation panel member.</p> <p>Association President Chris Cahill says both officers are fine examples of having the capacity to make immediate, and as it turns out, heroic decisions, when the mundane turned quickly into the dangerously serious.</p> <p>“The officers not only displayed quick thinking, but extraordinary courage to put their lives at risk to rescue others,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>On July 8, 2016, Senior Constable Ross Andrew </strong><strong>(retired) </strong>came across a serious crash when he was driving through the Manawatu River gorge. A large truck and trailer unit had careened through a barrier and came to rest, partly submerged, 50 metres down the gorge. Senior Constable Andrew picked his way down the steep ravine in driving winds and rain using a rope provided by a member of the public. He waded through the swift and rising water to the partly crushed cab and helped the woman passenger to the shore, giving her is protective vest for warmth. He returned to the cab, extracted the seriously injured driver onto the top of the cab and, aware hypothermia was setting in, lay next to the driver to shelter him from the relentless freezing mid-winter winds until a rescue helicopter arrived an hour later.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>On December 14, 2016, Constable Darren Critchley</strong>, a highway patrol officer, had finished work and had picked up his son from school when he heard an alert on the radio that several people were in trouble in the water at the Hukatere end of Ninety Mile Beach. Constable Critchley knew how dangerous the sea was, but repeatedly placed himself at risk in his rescue efforts. The male tourist was at the point of disappearing under the water when Constable Critchley reached him. He brought him back to shore and immediately re-entered the periolous water to try and find the woman. When he did he could see she was drowned so he lifted her on to the surf board, gave her mouth-to-mouth in hope the paramedics would be able to save her. Unfortunately they could not and Constable Critchley had to break the terrible news to her distraught friends.</p> <p> </p> <p>Even from such brief descriptions of harrowing experiences, I believe it is very clear that not only did they place themselves in serious danger once, in each case they went back in to find the second person,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“To be awarded the Association’s Bravery Award is the highest honour we can bestow on our members, and I am tremedously proud to be associated with two officers who performed so outstandingly.”</p> <p> </p> <table border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 500px"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <h2> About the New Zealand Police Association Bravery Awards</h2> <p><img alt="Bravery Award" src="/system/files/image/feature/BraveryAwards2013_2_0.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 173px;" />The New Zealand Police Association Bravery Awards were established by the Police Association to recognise and honour the most outstanding acts of bravery performed by members, on or off duty.  Whilst acts of bravery may be recognised by other Police and civilian awards, the Association’s Bravery Award is unique in that it represents recognition of a member’s outstanding bravery by his or her colleagues and peers.</p> <p>The design of the award is based on the sternpost of a Maori waka, traditionally carved to provide guardianship on a journey.  In the Bravery Award, the cast bronze sternpost incorporates a Police chevron, and represents the strength, resolve and community guardianship of police.  The sternpost is topped by a flame of pounamu, representing the outstanding valour of the act of bravery, and the high value in which the recipient is held.</p> <p>2017 is the seventh year in which Bravery Awards have been made.  The first award was made in 2010 to Inspector Mike O’Leary, who, while off duty, placed his own safety at risk in rescuing two children from a burning van following a serious crash near Taupo.  In 2011, Constable Mike Wardle and former constable Marty Stiles were honoured for their courage in rescuing Senior Constable Bruce Lamb after he had been shot through the face in Christchurch.  No awards were made in 2012 as the evaluation panel did not feel any nominated acts met the standard of extraordinary bravery required.  In 2013, Senior Constable Bryan Farquharson and Constable Paul Bailey received an award for leaping without hesitation into dangerous surf at Napier to save the life of a 12 year old boy. In 2014, Senior Constable Deane O’Connor received an award for leaping from a bridge, at nightfall, into the dark waters of Tauranga harbour to rescue a crash survivor.  In 2015 Senior Constable Adrian Oldham was awarded for entering a burning home without any fire safety equipment to rescue a trapped 77-year-old woman; Constable Ben Turner, unarmed, rushed an offender armed with a sawn-off shotgun who was attempting to carjack an elderly woman in a crowded car park.  The 2016 award was not made public due to the nature of the police operation involved.</p> <p>The recipients of the Bravery Awards were selected by a panel comprising Police Association President Chris Cahill, Vice–President Craig Tickelpenny, Police Superintendent Sam Hoyle, former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and former Labour Minister Annette King.</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> </p> Friday, October 13, 2017 - 10:25 Media Releases Resilience Matters - Mental Health the focus of New Zealand Police Association's 82nd annual conference <p><strong>The focus of the New Zealand Police Association’s 82nd annual conference in Wellington this week (Oct 11-13) is the mental health of its 11,000 serving members, under the theme of ‘Resilience Matters’.</strong></p> <p>“It is timely that our conference coincides with New Zealand’s Mental Health Awareness Week, because efforts to draw attention to proactive initiatives to improve and safeguard mental health are vital for all New Zealanders, including those working in the often stressful environment of policing”, Association President Chris Cahill said.</p> <p>The three-day conference will feature speakers concentrating on various ways to develop resilience throughout policing, such as recognition that Police employees maintain and nurture their personal lives once they have clocked off duty.</p> <p>The keynote speaker for the conference is Dr Tom Mulholland, the well-known New Zealand emergency and expedition doctor, TV and radio talk show host, and founder of the Healthy Thinking Institute.</p> <p>“Dr Tom specialises in teaching tools to control emotions and manage attitudes at work and home, which is a perfect mix given police associations around the world are beginning to take seriously the importance of our members balancing their complex and hypervigilant work environment with a life outside of work,” Mr Cahill said.  </p> <p>“During the conference we will launch, in partnership with Police, the Equipt app which is designed for Police staff to monitor their mental health, recognise when concerns are building and take affirmative action themselves, including seeking professional support if that is needed.” </p> <p>Barrister Susan Hughes, the “go to” counsel for the Association in representation of its members is the conference opening speaker.  The essence of her speech will be the serious incidents she has been involved in with Association members over the last 15 years, and in keeping with the conference theme, the need for support and care of officers involved in those critical incidents.</p> <p>Conference will also hear from international guests, including National President of the US Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA ), Nate Catura and Police Federation of Australia CEO Mark Burgess.</p> <p>A 12-strong delegation representing all Australian states will also attend the conference.</p> <p> </p> <p>Where: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, 147 The Terrace, Wellington</p> <p>When: Wednesday 11, October 10:00 - Official Opening – Friday 13 October 15:00</p> <p> </p> <p>Open to Media:</p> <p>Wednesday 11 October</p> <p>10:00 Official Opening – Association President Chris Cahill; Opening Speaker Susan Hughes QC</p> <p> </p> <p>Thursday 12 October</p> <p>10:30 Dr Tom Mulholland (Resilience)</p> <p>13:30 PFA Chief Executive Mark Burgess</p> <p>14:00 Launch of Equipt app – Chris Cahill, Deputy Commissioner NZP Viv Rickard</p> <p> </p> <p>Friday 13 October</p> <p>08:30 Bravery Award presentation – Sir Brian Lochore (presenter), Chris Cahill</p> Monday, October 9, 2017 - 09:08 Media Releases Fallen colleagues to be remembered on Police Remembrance Day <p><strong><img alt="Police Remembrance Pin" src="/system/files/image/Media Releases/Remembrance Pin.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 151px;" />Police Association President Chris Cahill is encouraging New Zealanders to take a pause tomorrow and remember Police officers and employees who have been killed or died while doing their job.</strong></p> <p>“Police Remembrance Day is a chance to reflect and honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives to protect their fellow New Zealanders,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“It is a reminder of the dangers all police officers face on a daily basis, but a danger they are willing to confront for the safety of our communities.”</p> <p>“It is a sobering occasion for the families and friends of the dead, and current officers and Police employees who attend, and it is extremely important that they all feel supported,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>The ceremony includes the reading out of the names of the 32 officers slain on duty and the 48 Police employees who have died as a result of their duties since 1886, followed by the names of serving employees and former staff who have died in the past year.</p> <p>The day falls on the 29th of September, the feast day of the Archangel Michael, patron saint of police, and will be observed with a service at the Royal New Zealand Police College and in services around the country.</p> <p>Police staff, family members and others will wear the distinctive huia feather-shaped Police Remembrance Pin designed by the Police Association as a way for members of Police across New Zealand to feel part of the day.</p> <p>The pin was introduced in partnership with NZ Police and has been embraced as the symbol of police remembrance in New Zealand.</p> <p>“The growing number of police and others who wear the pin on Remembrance Day and in the days leading up to it, is a sign of respect for those who have lost their lives,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p class="rtecenter">-------</p> <p>Read more information about <a href="">Police Remembrance Day</a>.</p> Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 11:59 Media Releases NZ Police Association urges New Zealanders to wake up to our country's gun problem <p><strong>The Police Association is calling on New Zealanders and their politicians to wake up to the consequences of the proliferation of illegal firearms throughout the country.</strong></p> <p>Association President Chris Cahill said the latest survey of Association members makes for very sobering reading with respect to the impact illegal firearms are having within our communities, and therefore on policing.</p> <p>“It requires remarkable bravery to put on the Police uniform and go to work every day knowing you may be staring down the barrel of a gun. That should be widely considered as unacceptable in a country like New Zealand, and yet, unfortunately we are now regularly reminded that it appears relatively easy to access all sorts of weapons,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>The 2017 Police Association Member Survey, conducted by research company Nielsen, shows a 38% increase in the number of police officers threatened with a firearm in the last two years.</p> <p>“One in eight (12%) of the Constabulary has been threatened with a firearm at least once in the last year.  For frontline officers that figure grows to one in five - 21%, being threatened at least once in the last year,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“What makes this even more concerning is that the survey shows one in three members (36%) who have been threatened with firearms in the past year have not reported every incident.”</p> <p>While the Association receives almost daily reports of firearms presented or found, it is generally the high profile incidents such as last month’s Whangarei fatal shootings and the Morrinsville near-miss shooting at three police officers on August 14, that make the headlines.</p> <p>“I think that gives a false impression of the level of actual danger for everyday New Zealanders as well as for officers.  The truth is we are very lucky that these officers in Morrinsville were not seriously injured or killed,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“For that reason I ask New Zealanders to read the following chilling message.  It was sent to me by a police officer the morning after the gunman in Morrinsville opened fire with a barrage of ammunition from a military style semi-automatic (MSSA) initially on an unarmed officer, and then on his two back-up officers.”</p> <p> </p> <p style="margin-left:1.0cm;"><strong><em>“Hi boss,</em></strong></p> <p style="margin-left:1.0cm;"><strong><em>I just want you to know that it is heart breaking when you hear an officer yelling in the radio I got shot at, I am not armed 10-10, 10-10.</em></strong></p> <p style="margin-left:1.0cm;"><strong><em>When are we gonna get armed to have proper equipment to protect ourselves against offenders’ real firearms?</em></strong></p> <p style="margin-left:1.0cm;"><strong><em>When you’re out and about, you cannot say to an offender, “hey, give me a sec, don’t shoot me yet, let me unlock my gun from the lockbox first.”</em></strong></p> <p style="margin-left:1.0cm;"><strong><em>Do we have to wait until one or more of us is shot dead, then start pushing for arming police?</em></strong></p> <p style="margin-left:1.0cm;"><strong><em>I just do not want to see one of us shot dead on duty while the guns stay inside the lockbox.</em></strong></p> <p style="margin-left:1.0cm;"><strong><em>Thanks for your time.”</em></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>“Naturally the survey results, combined with the raw emotion and frustration in messages, such as the one above, turn the focus to whether New Zealand has reached the critical point where frontline officers should be armed at all times,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“While general arming has been the policy of the Association for some time, we note that support amongst the general public has increased slightly in the last two years and now sits at 55%, according to a recent Nielsen survey.  Police officer support for general arming is significantly higher at 66% in favour - up from 62% in the 2015 survey.”</p> <p>“If New Zealand is not ready for a radical cultural change in policing, then we must all take seriously the reality of weapons in our communities and demand our politicians pledge to undertake serious, meaningful changes to our gun laws,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“There is no doubt in our thinking that there needs to be a revisit of the recommendations of the Select Committee Inquiry into issues relating into the illegal possession of firearms in New Zealand.”</p> <p>“Critics may say that horse has bolted. Reality argues otherwise,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>A selection of firearms incidents from around the country reported to the Association over the last few months:</strong></p> <p><strong>Whanganui</strong>: Dog track led officers to address following burglary; located .22 rifle with ammunition and loaded and actioned SKS 5 shot semi-automatic 7.62 rifle (same calibre of rifle used in Morrinsville shootings in mid-August); occupants patched Mongrel Mob.</p> <p><strong>Flaxmere</strong>: Unarmed marked police car locates male with rifle (with scope) near public park; police vehicle reverses back and officer yells at schoolchildren to take cover behind police car; officer convinces male to drop weapon.  Sergeant on duty listening to incident initially feared incident would result in police shooting.</p> <p><strong>Manurewa</strong>: Aggravated robbery of Superette; shots fired; took cash register and other items; police pursuit located vehicle with three offenders; offender in back seat fired at police with cut-down .22; offenders later arrested and firearm recovered with live round in chamber.</p> <p><strong>Waitemata</strong>: Legitimate gun licence holder identified as buying large numbers of firearms (mostly .22 rifles and pump action shotguns and rifles later cut down into pistol format) and selling/swapping for meth. When police check the sales from the gun store, licence holder reports firearms “stolen” from his home. Detective Sergeant in charge says, “We need a national register to flag firearms licence holders who buy large amounts of firearms in short spaces of time.”</p> <p><strong>Christchurch</strong>: During a gang tenant eviction two loaded pistols recovered.</p> <p><strong>Invercargill</strong>: Routine traffic stop; five illegal firearms located, four of which were loaded with rounds in the chambers ready to fire.</p> <p><strong>Kawerau</strong>: Search at known gang associate house; .223 rifle, 100+ rounds of ammunition, 100 rounds of 12g ammunition, 20 shot .223 magazine located; occupant not licensed gun owner.</p> <p><strong>Counties Manukau:</strong>Offenders on property threaten to kill occupant/victim/ fired several rounds including into victim’s vehicle/ struck her with rifle butt/ shell casings identified as from shotguns.</p> <p><strong>Palmerston North</strong>: Unarmed officers respond to reports of shots fired; approach address where male opens the door holding cut down firearm with one round in chamber and 3 in magazine; officers persuaded male to drop weapon; 10g of meth also located.</p> <p><strong>Onehunga</strong>: Routine traffic stop; officer observed pistol protruding on floor by drivers’ seat; retreated to patrol car and armed up with partner; made armed arrest and located sawn off shotgun and .22 revolver.</p> <p><strong>Manurewa</strong>: Suspect vehicle pursued and spiked; car crashed and male occupant presented shotgun at unarmed officers who retreated.</p> <p><strong>Counties Manukau</strong>: Search of a residential address revealed sawn-off shotgun with two rounds in it located under the bed offender was in, and a modified military-style semi-automatic firearm in the garage.</p> <p><strong>Christchurch</strong>: During a search warrant on a suburban address related to a burglary, police found a .44 cut down pistol grip rifle and 51 rounds of ammunition.</p> Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 11:11 Media Releases Police Association urges politicians to rethink online firearms sales <p><strong>Police Association President Chris Cahill says last week’s tragic shootings in Northland should serve as an opportune time for politicians to take another look at the recommendations from the Law and Order Select Committee Inquiry into the Illegal Possession of Firearms in New Zealand.</strong></p> <p>“The Committee recommended a registration process for websites facilitating trading in firearms, parts or ammunition.  This would give us assurance that online purchasing regimes would have necessary protections, but politicians rejected registration,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>Currently the Police Association’s policy is to ban online sales of firearms.</p> <p>It is a view based on the fact that the existing system falls short in terms of protections in two vital areas – it doesn’t ensure that all people purchasing firearms are licensed, and, it doesn’t guarantee that the firearms actually purchased end up in the hands of the person whose licence is identified in that online purchase.</p> <p>The Association of course accepts that online marketplaces for all types of goods are now an established element in retailing.</p> <p>However, Mr Cahill says before the Association would consider easing its position with respect to online trading of firearms, it would need to be satisfied significant improvements are made to ensure only clearly identifiable licensed firearms owners are capable of purchasing and receiving firearms.</p> <p>“Unfortunately we have been made all too aware of the fact that online traders are not able to verify that the licence provided to them is the licence of the actual purchaser,” he said.</p> <p>“We acknowledge TradeMe is attempting to work with Police to access the firearms licence database in order to better ensure the credentials of online purchasers.  We also acknowledge TradeMe shares the Association’s view that there should be a register of all firearms serial numbers.” </p> <p>“The Association would go further and ask that the permit to procure be extended to cover all sales or transfers of firearms, as recommended by the Select Committee.  That would give us more confidence in the security of online purchasing regimes, and we may adjust our position accordingly,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p> </p> Monday, July 31, 2017 - 13:49 Media Releases Police Association condemns horrific attack on Rotorua officer <p><strong>Police Association President Chris Cahill has expressed concern for the police officer who was seriously assaulted while on duty overnight in Rotorua.</strong></p> <p>“Our thoughts go out to the officer who was the victim of a horrific and cowardly attack while making an arrest at a property in Rotorua in the early hours of the morning,” Mr Cahill said today.</p> <p>“The Association is offering support to the injured officer and his family and assisting where we can.”</p> <p>Indications are that the officer was hit from behind with a weapon, knocking him unconscious and causing serious head injuries. He is currently sedated in Waikato Hospital. The offender remains at large.</p> <p>“This is the second serious assault on a police officer this week, after a constable was bashed up to 15 times over the head in the main street of Morrinsville on Monday,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“This incident highlights the dangerous situations that officers put themselves in while carrying out their duty. It very quickly turned a routine policing matter into a volatile and life-threatening situation.</p> <p>“We all hope for a favourable outcome for the injured officer from this sickening assault,” he said.</p> Friday, July 21, 2017 - 12:17 Media Releases World-class Black Fern captain takes out NZ Police Association Sportsperson of the Year <p><img alt="Fiaoo Black Ferns photo" src="/system/files/image/Media Releases/FAAMAUSILI%2C Fiao'o BF 2016 (2) cropped v2.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 242px; float: right;" /></p> <p><strong>Detective Constable Fiao’o Fa’amausili, captain of the world-class Black Ferns and regarded as one of the world’s leading hookers in women’s rugby, is the NZ Police Association Sportsperson of the Year for 2016.</strong></p> <p>The Black Fern first received the award in 2011 off the back of a stellar performance in the front row at the 2011 World Cup. This Monday, as captain of the Black Ferns, Fiao'o will accept the 2016 award from Association President Chris Cahill.</p> <p>“This award is in recognition of another year of great achievements in both national and international rugby.” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>Highlights of her 2016 year include:</p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 36pt;"> Black Ferns – Captain</li> <li style="margin-left: 36pt;"> Auckland Storm – Captain</li> <li style="margin-left: 36pt;"> Auckland Storm – Forward of the Year</li> <li style="margin-left: 36pt;"> Farah Palmer Cup (WPC) – Top Try Scorer</li> <li style="margin-left: 36pt;"> Auckland Samoa Women’s Player of the Year</li> <li style="margin-left: 36pt;"> Nominee for NZ Women’s Player of the Year</li> <li style="margin-left: 36pt;"> Nominee for World Rugby Player of the Year</li> </ul> <p>“Fiao’o’s work ethic and willingness to take on a challenge has earned her respect from her colleagues, fellow athletes, and the wider community. Her achievements reflect positively on Police too,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“The Police family feels proud when one of our own achieves such success in New Zealand and on the international stage."</p> <p>With 44 games, Fiao’o is third on the Black Ferns’ list of all-time appearances. Her personal achievements include participating in five World Cups, including the tournament in Ireland next month.</p> <p>Her willingness to take on challenges is an attribute that has always helped Fiao’o achieve her goals. In 2010 she graduated as a constable from Police College at the same time as she was training for that year’s World Cup in London. The Black Ferns won, two years later Fiao’o was captain and, six years on she was a Police detective.</p> <p>Fiao’o’s taste for rugby began in college. She was a keen netball player at Aorere College, but after competing in a “one-off” rugby game against Otahuhu College, she “was hooked".</p> <p>Fiao’o gave up selection for an U19 netball squad in favour for a place in the Auckland Storm team. She says her dad was the deciding factor– she thought he would prefer being on the sideline of a rugby game.</p> <p>Hard training and working as a postie Monday to Saturday for extra fitness, paid off when she made her test debut for New Zealand at the 2002 World Cup in Barcelona.</p> <p>After the World Cup in Canada in 2006 Fiao’o’s reputation as a first-class hooker was growing and she took a contract to play in Newcastle in the 2007-2008 English Rugby season.</p> <p>She then returned home to New Zealand for her next challenge – joining NZ Police. After her call-up, Fiao’o began night classes to familiarise herself with studying and sitting exams and set herself the challenge of learning to swim properly.</p> <p>“Train hard or go home” is her motto and the physicality and mental preparation is what she loves about rugby.</p> <p>“You’ve got to go in hard and tough it out, much like the situations we come up against in policing,” Fiao’o said.</p> <p>In her spare time Fiao’o has been working with Cure Kids NZ and is involved in grassroots school rugby, helping to grow the game and promote fair play. One of her wider legacies as a Black Fern is seeing the rise in the number of women playing the game.</p> <p>“It’s awesome to see and for them to know that rugby is not just a game for the boys.”</p> <p> </p> <p><em><strong>NZ Police Sportsperson of Year award background: </strong>From 2002, the NZ Police Association has sponsored the Police Sportsperson of the Year Award, acknowledging the outstanding national sporting excellence achieved by members of Police. For over 40 years, this award has recognised members of Police who have excelled at their sport at a national level. It is organised by Police Sport.</em></p> <p><strong><em>Previous nominees and recipients include: </em></strong><em>Rachel Clarke, Champion Surf Skier; Selica Winiata, Black Fern; Melissa Mae Ruru, NZ Volleyballer; Fiao'o Fa'amausili, world champion Black Fern; Sian Law, Commonwealth Games Wrestler; Jeff McGrath, Ironman/Triathlete; Grainne Scott, MVP NZ Lacrosse Team & Captain Canterbury Women’s Ice Hockey Team; Michelle Nunn, Captain of the NZ Women’s Wheel Chair Basketball Team - the Wheel Ferns; Cowboy Action Shooting World Champion Tracey Ball; NZ Black Cap cricketer Shane Bond; Atlantic Rowers Steve Westlake and Matt Goodman; Silver Fern Jenny-May Coffin; All Blacks Murray Pierce; John Gallagher and Blair Larsen; Kiwi rugby league star Sam Stewart; All White Roger Gray; Hockey internationals Shane Collins, Scott Anderson and Karen Smith; cricketer Sarah Illingworth; lawn bowler Phil Skoglund; triathlete Steve Farrell; athlete Andrew Collin; and martial artist Karen Vaughan.</em></p> Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 13:57 Media Releases Police Association launches 2017 election year policy document: Towards a Safer New Zealand <p><strong>The proliferation of illegal firearms in New Zealand has provided a sobering backdrop for today’s launch of the Police Association’s 2017 election year policy document.</strong></p> <p>Association President Chris Cahill referred to yesterday’s Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) finding that the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) was justified in shooting an armed offender who pulled a gun on a police officer.</p> <p>“The report details how the offender aimed at an officer but his shotgun failed, and when he tried to reload, he was shot by the AOS and later died.  It is chilling reading on a number of fronts,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“Had it not been for the initial failure of the offender’s shotgun the story could have been another police fatality,” he said.</p> <p>“There is no satisfaction in ‘I told you so’, in this game, and that is why our Policy Document highlights the danger illegal firearms pose to members of the public and police officers.  That is why we are so critical of the Government’s decision to reject key recommendations from the Select Committee report into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms,” he said. </p> <p>“It is as if they don’t believe what is really happening out on the frontlines”.  </p> <p>“Take Wednesday, during a routine traffic stop in Onehunga.  As an officer spoke with the driver he saw the barrel of a pistol protruding on the floor by the driver’s seat.  The officer retreated to the patrol car to access his weapon from the lockbox and was then able to arrest the offender.  The revolver originally seen was confiscated, along with a sawn-off shotgun and meth found in the boot,” he said.</p> <p>Mr Cahill said he is determined to alert New Zealanders to the constant reports he has from Association members who find, or are confronted by, illegal firearms during routine policing.</p> <p>Among its many recommendations for political parties, the Association calls for increasing pressure on organised crime and gangs, and a serious focus on processes that will ensure better records of how many firearms there are in New Zealand, and who has them.</p> <p>The Association applauds the Government’s increase in police numbers, announced at the beginning of this year.  However it warns that by the time the 880 extra officers are all in place by 2021, New Zealand’s population will have risen to the point where the population-to-police ratio will be little better than it is today.</p> <p>“We are cognisant of the fact that policing is not about arresting or imprisoning our way to safer communities,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“We need to be smarter in how we allocate resources and target crime. We know that simply doing more of the same with extra resources is not a viable strategy, and we know that waiting for policing to reach breaking point before paying it due attention is seriously damaging to the welfare of police officers.”</p> <p><a href="">Read the NZPA 2017 Policy Document here.</a></p> Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 10:49 Media Releases Police Association astounded at Government rejection of firearms controls <p><strong>The New Zealand Police Association says the Minister of Police has today ignored the risk of increased firearms threats to the public, and made the jobs of front line officers more difficult and definitely more dangerous.</strong></p> <p>Association President Chris Cahill said gun presence and/or violence is now reported in New Zealand on a daily basis and Minister Paula Bennett’s gutting of the recommendations of the Law and Order Select Committee’s Inquiry into the possession of illegal firearms will do nothing to rectify that.</p> <p>“The Minister has rejected every meaningful measure put forward by the Committee in a genuine effort to prevent the supply of firearms to criminals,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“Minister Bennett appears to have bowed to the pressure of the gun lobby which we believe  represents fewer than 10,000 of the 240,000 licensed gun owners.  She has ignored the deliberations of the Select Committee, even on the common sense and obvious recommendations, to the point you have to ask why hold an inquiry in the first place,” he said.</p> <p>Mr Cahill acknowledges the Minister’s statement that nobody wants firearms getting into the hands of violent gang members, but says that’s exactly what is happening now and essentially maintaining the status quo will not rectify an already unacceptable situation.</p> <p>“The Minister’s concern about ‘over the top’ rules and restrictions on hunters and shooters ignores the reality that New Zealand is awash with illegal firearms and the majority of them are stolen,” he said.</p> <p>“The Association does not want to burden legitimate gun owners, but does not believe any of the Committee’s recommendations did that.”</p> <p>The Association keeps a record of firearms incidents reported by its members.  The following is just a small sample of those recorded in and around the Auckland area in the last few days:</p> <p>- male victim assaulted by offenders with a shotgun and pistol</p> <p>- police locate rifle in vehicle tracked by Eagle helicopter</p> <p>- victim threatened by 4 males with shotgun</p> <p>- three offenders discharged shotgun in late night bar, took contents of slot machine</p> <p>- Black Power supporter’s vehicle search revealed sawn off shotgun and ammunition</p> <p>- vehicle containing air rifle and stubb nosed pistol stolen outside owner’s address</p> <p>- male driver waves long barrelled firearm out window of vehicle</p> <p>- vehicle containing 2 shotguns stolen from owner’s address</p> <p>- pump action shotgun belonging to patched Tribesman member located during search</p> <p>- shotgun victim had been using for duck shooting stolen from vehicle parked near rugby club</p> <p>“In one Police district alone, officers seized 525 firearms, and recorded 461 offences involving either breaches of the Arms Act or criminal use of a firearm in the last fiscal year,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“Control of firearms is taken very seriously by the Association because it is our members who stand between criminals with guns and the public. That is why we question the reasons behind the Minister’s rejection of a very simple and painless measure such as Police recording serial numbers of all firearms upon renewal of licence or inspection of premises,” he said.</p> <p>He added that another puzzling decision was for the Minister to recommend the introduction of the power to suspend licences pending decision on revocation, in order to give Police an alternative to cancelling a licence in situations such as someone charged with family violence or where security issues need to be resolved.</p> <p>“The Association would consider family violence or lack of secure storage to be potential red flags when it comes to the right to have guns”, Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>While the Association does not question the personal integrity of the two people the Minister appointed as independent advisors on the firearms report, it does challenge their ‘independence’ given one actually made submissions against the Committee’s recommendations.</p> Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 00:00 Media Releases Budget 2017: Continued commitment to law and order welcomed <p><strong>The Government has today confirmed its commitment to increase the number of police by 880 and the number of non-sworn Police employees by 245, over the next four years.</strong></p> <p>The Association welcomed the announcement when it was initially made in the February 2 Safer Communities package.</p> <p>“A $388m increase in Vote Police is a much needed initiative to relieve serious strains on front line policing,” Police Association President Chris Cahill said.</p> <p>“Ideally we would have liked the officers and support staff on the job immediately, but it is imperative to recruit the right people and train them to the highest standards.  That takes time and considerable effort,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>The roll out of the Government package means every year for the next four years, 220 extra recruits, over and above the 400-500 trained every year, will be needed to meet the target of 880. The first of these intakes enters Police College this July.</p> <p>Mr Cahill said since the initial announcement Police has provided more details on exactly where the extra police will be stationed.</p> <p>“High pressure districts such as Northland, Waikato and Eastern have the largest percentage increases at 19%, 16.4% and 16.1% respectively, and indicative planning allocations show the largest numbers will go to these areas in the 2017/2018 financial year,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“It is also good to note that the 880 officers will all be out in the community, and not adding to Police bureaucracy.”</p> <p>“Our members are telling us every day of the growth in key crime areas, and the dangerous cycle being fuelled by the methamphetamine “industry” which is always closely linked to gangs,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“And where there is meth, there are invariably firearms which pose not only a danger to the general public, but to police who are encountering such weapons on a regular basis,” he added.</p> <p>The Association is mindful of the job ahead in keeping the Government aware of the dangers of a growth in the gap between the New Zealand population and the number of police officers on the frontline.</p> <p>“By the time this year’s Budget package is fully rolled out, our population will have increased significantly.  Unless there is a serious drop in crime, we will again find ourselves caught in this cycle of stressed police and political catch-up remedies.  That is neither good for New Zealanders nor good for our members, so we will be watching it closely,” Mr Cahill said. </p> Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 10:34 Media Releases Police Association welcomes new focus on illegal firearms in New Zealand <h2> The New Zealand Police Association says Parliament’s Law and Order Select Committee is clearly serious about dealing with the illegal possession of firearms in New Zealand.</h2> <p>Association President Chris Cahill says today’s report, following ten months of submissions and deliberations, has produced some good, common sense recommendations which answer a number of concerns the Association has with the current situation.</p> <p>“We are particularly pleased with the recommendation that the permit to procure a firearm be extended to cover the sale or transfer of all firearms,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>The Committee noted that this process would provide details of firearms transactions to the Police, and over time, this information would build a database of firearms possessed by individuals. </p> <p>“The Committee members have recognised that this permit regime would initially impose an administrative burden on buyers, sellers and the Police, but it is time to focus on the bigger picture.  New Zealand needs to better monitor private sales of firearms and the majority of the country’s 242,000 licensed owners will agree with that.  An online process for permits will eventually reduce the costs to all,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>The Association applauds the tough stance recommended with respect to gangs.</p> <p>“Anything that makes being a member of a gang less appealing, we’re happy with,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“Gang members and gang prospects are not fit and proper persons to possess firearms, and they demonstrate that every day of the week.  We know of gang members who are licensed firearms carriers and currently there is nothing to stop them purchasing any number of weapons, and then distributing them amongst the gang,” he said. </p> <p>The Committee decided against the creation of a firearms register, opting instead for a law change to require Police to record the serial numbers of firearms owned by licence holders when they renew their licences, or are subject to inspection of their premises.</p> <p>“We are quite happy with that recommendation, particularly when it is combined with the recommendations to extend the powers of the Police to enter premises to inspect the security of “A” category firearms, and loss of licence as the penalty if storage regulations are not complied with.  This will mean when Police carry out security checks they can at the same time, record serial numbers and add them to the Police registry,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“These are only a number of the recommendations, and they sit amongst many others that the Association believes will lead to a much better understanding of where firearms are across the country.”</p> <p>However the Association is not happy with the Committee’s attitude to the rules and regulations surrounding the importation of firearms.</p> <p>“There appears to be a glaring omission in the report when it comes to tightening up on the tens of thousands of firearms imported into New Zealand every year.  We have to ask why on earth we need all these firearms, why we need MSSAs and pistols, and why is it acceptable to not know where many of these weapons end up,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>The Association hopes the Government will take seriously  the recommendations, and implement them as soon as possible.</p> Friday, April 7, 2017 - 16:21 Media Releases Scrapping New Zealand’s Vehicle Safety Officers dangerous and short-sighted <h2> The Police Association is deeply concerned that the jobs of the country’s 26 Vehicle Safety Officers (VSOs) are to be axed at a time when New Zealand’s road toll is unacceptably high, and climbing.</h2> <p>Police last year announced that 111 road policing staff (which includes VSOs) were to be taken off these duties and absorbed back into general policing with no-one losing their job.</p> <p>“That is clearly not the case because the 26 VSOs are to be disbanded.  These highly specialised mechanics and engineers who focus on the safety of New Zealand’s heavy duty vehicles are not sworn officers and so cannot be simply absorbed into other policing duties,” Association President Chris Cahill said.</p> <p>Police say that less than 4% of crashes on our roads involve commercial trucks.  The Association considers it not unreasonable to extrapolate from that that the relatively low figure of commercial vehicle accidents is due to the independence and expertise of the VSOs when conducting inspections.  </p> <p>“There are tens of thousands of heavy commercial vehicles on New Zealand’s roads at any given time, and, when trucks can travel 100,000s of kms between inspections, an undetected mechanical or structural fault can cause havoc,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“When trucks or buses are involved in accidents the consequences are usually significant.  It simply doesn’t make sense to downplay the roadworthiness of the likes of massive logging trucks, school and tourist buses, and, don’t forget, the potential catastrophe of an unsafe vehicle is not only for those inside it, but for other road users who may be impacted in any crash.”   </p> <p>VSOs deal regularly with issues which could cause imminent vehicle failure.  These include the likes of worn universal joints, missing, lose or broken cap bolts, visible cracks in cross members and between drive axles, cracked chassis plates, damaged chassis rails, cracked deck attachments, insufficient tread depth on tyres.</p> <p>The Association wants to know which independent agency or agencies will now carry out the vital inspections which uncover these faults, and who will be responsible for reporting on the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles involved in crashes.</p> <p>“Taking staff from road policing when New Zealand’s freight levels are expected to increase 75% over the next 25 years is extremely short sighted,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p> “We also only need to look back at the last Christmas/New Year holiday period open road toll of 15 fatal crashes and 19 deaths to know it is not a time to mess with road safety in any way”, Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“Added to that, Police’s own report notes a 16% increase in road crash hospitalisation figures for the last quarter of last year compared to the 2015 figures.  That is the highest result since 2008/09 and while those numbers were fairly consistently represented across most districts, some areas showed substantial increases,” he said.</p> <p>The report also shows New Zealand has nothing to be proud of when our progress in reducing road deaths is compared with other OECD countries.  We top the scale in (relative) rises in road deaths - increases which are mirrored in the hospitalisation results.</p> Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 14:36 Media Releases Police Association urges caution over publication of Taser camera footage <p><strong>The Police Association has appealed to media outlets to show judgement and fairness if they publish Taser camera footage from a recent trial of four Hawkes Bay police officers.  The officers were acquitted of assaulting Gregory McPeake by using either a police Taser as a weapon, or assault using a police dog as a weapon.</strong></p> <p>The Napier District Court has granted TVNZ, Fairfax and NZME access to the footage, subject to a number of conditions.</p> <p>Association President Chris Cahill asks the media concerned to heed Judge Cooper’s warnings about fair and contextual use of the material.</p> <p>Mr Cahill says he would be alarmed if the footage was used to essentially “trial by media” the Hawkes Bay officers. </p> <p>“It is vital to remember that the actions of the officers were fully tested in a court of law, and the decision from that trial is the most informed.  The jury considered all the evidence – including the footage Judge Cooper has agreed to release - and took little over an hour to acquit the officers,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>Mr McPeake died during the arrest process but not as a result of the actions of the officers, and Mr Cahill says the Association is very aware of the distress caused to Mr McPeake’s family.</p> <p>“I am therefore very concerned that the Taser footage the wider public will see captures only a few moments of a difficult, protracted and ultimately tragic night’s events,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“Context in such situations is a serious issue. It is up to the media to ensure they follow the Judge’s directions on this matter.  Context means the Taser footage must not be isolated from everything the police officers were confronted with that night,” he said.</p> <p>Mr Cahill welcomes the ruling of Judge PW Cooper in granting the application in which he advised media to report this matter accurately.</p> <p>The Judge said <em>“media will need to provide a context which, to be fair, balanced and accurate, would no doubt include matters leading up to the use of the Tasers and the police dogs and the fact that Gregory McPeake’s death, if referred to at all, was not caused by the officers’ actions.”</em></p> <p>The Judge went on to say that <em>“having presided over the trial, I can say that it is incontrovertible that the officers acted in good faith and any suggestion otherwise would be highly actionable.”</em></p> Friday, March 10, 2017 - 11:02 Media Releases Police Association questions shooting club ban <p><strong>The Police Association is alarmed that a Wairarapa shooting club has banned police from using its firearms training facility in a bid to force Police National Headquarters to change its attitude on certain gun policies and procedures.</strong></p> <p>Association President Chris Cahill says the Association readily accepts that the vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens.</p> <p>He also says in his experience very few gun owners have issues with registering their own firearm, or who they may on-sell to. The aim is to control who has access to firearms, not penalise licensed firearms owners.</p> <p>“Like it or not, the reality is that criminals often acquire their guns from burglaries of legitimate gun owners and dealers, or, guns are on-sold to people who have no intention of registering them and using them within legal parameters,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>On a daily basis our members are being confronted by criminals with guns.  The results of a proliferation of firearms are very real for front line police and the Association believes that having a gun pointed in your face should not be seen as just part of the job.  Illegal firearms are also regularly uncovered during routine searches of suspects, vehicles and buildings.  This situation is a significant risk to police officers and to the public.</p> <p>Under the Arms Act (1983) a firearms licence allows the holder to have and use sporting type shotguns and rifles.  Target shooting pistol club members require a ‘B’ Endorsement attached to their firearms licences to possess and use pistols as a member of an incorporated pistol club on a range approved by the Commissioner of Police.</p> <p>“With all dangerous things in society come rules and regulations that have to be enforced.  A firearm is a lethal weapon and we do not see why firearms should be excluded from safeguards”, Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>He added that while the club’s president, Mr Rawlinson, says they are “not trying to be vindictive or nasty”, in imposing an immediate ban,  it certainly sounds vindictive when Police is trying to ensure dangerous weapons do not end up in the hands of criminals.</p> <p>“This banning of front line police from the firearms training facility is the first the Association has ever heard of the issues the Wairarapa Club has now expressed.”</p> <p>“Perhaps it would have been more productive to at least approach the Association with the view to discuss the concerns rather than complicate the training programmes of Wairarapa police who use, and pay for, the Club’s facilities in order to ensure they are equipped to keep the community safe,” Mr Cahill said.</p> Friday, March 10, 2017 - 11:06 Media Releases Police Association welcomes commitment to policing <p>New Zealand Police Association President Chris Cahill says the Government’s announcement of 1125 new police will make a real difference to the fight against crime in this country.</p> <p>“The Association has identified the pressure points for policing being on the front line, in investigations and organised crime, and the Government has taken notice,” Mr Cahill said.</p> <p>“This package shows the Government has done its homework, and while ideally we would like the extra staff immediately, knowing that the cavalry is on its way will be a positive for Police in making future plans,” he said.</p> <p>“The Association has voiced its concerns about the proliferation of illegal firearms, the growth in organised crime and the availability of methamphetamine and we are very pleased to see the Government has identified these areas specifically.”</p> <p>Mr Cahill says initiatives such as the 12 mobile policing units will allow policing to be more responsive when crises arise in particular areas.</p> <p>“The focus on Safer Communities not only allows police to formulate longer term prevention measures, but also deal with crime as and when it is occurring.  Ensuring that balance is right is crucial to good policing and it is something we have been concerned about in recent times because of staff shortages,” he said.</p> <p>The Association believes recognition of the need for support staff is a positive move because of the vital role they play for those on the front line.</p> Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 13:07 Media Releases Resourcing critical to changes in Youth Justice age <p><strong>The New Zealand Police Association says it is vital that the Government adequately resource its decision to extend the youth justice system to include lower-risk 17-year-old offenders.</strong></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">Earlier this year the Association surveyed its members on the prospect of extending the youth justice age from 16 to 17. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">Association President Chris Cahill says 73% of police opposed such a move, and, narrowed down to Youth Aid officers at the frontline of juvenile offending, 55% were against the change. Youth Aid officers who did support extending the age did so on the proviso that it could only happen with additional resourcing. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“Police need to be able to do their job as best they can at all levels of offending, and as the country knows, many areas of policing are currently stretched to breaking point” Mr Cahill says.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“The last thing we need is any increase in our workload and we are concerned that this move is based on youth court numbers and not the myriad of other ways Youth Aid officers work to keep the majority of child/youth offenders out of any courtroom. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“The arrest and interview process for a child/youth offender is a much more complex and often time consuming process than for an adult.”</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">Mr Cahill accepts the policy move is focussed on what the Government refers to as “lower-risk 17-year-olds”, and says that is more acceptable to the Association membership than a wholesale extension of the youth justice age.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“Police are also very aware of the issues that arise when young people are placed in adult prisons, that at 17 they are still often very immature, and that the New Zealand government has seen the need to be in line with other similar jurisdictions and the United Nations” Mr Cahill says.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“It appears the Government has moved to address international criticism. The Association now awaits the details of how the Government will address the needs of the frontline staff and services to avoid domestic criticism.”</span></p> <div>  </div> Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 15:14 Media Releases Police Association welcomes new President Chris Cahill <div> <strong>The Police Association’s 81st Annual Conference has today elected Chris Cahill as President for a three-year term.</strong></div> <div>  </div> <div> <img alt="Chris Cahill" src="/system/files/image/Media Releases/Chris Cahill Pic.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 375px;" />In a contested election, Mr Cahill secured the position after receiving the support of delegates to the conference in Wellington.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Mr Cahill is a Detective Inspector in Auckland City. With a police career encompassing Invercargill to Auckland and many places in between, across a variety of work groups, from one-man stations to specialist national squads, he will bring a broad perspective and understanding of policing to the role.</div> <div>  </div> <div> Mr Cahill has a long history of involvement within the Police Association. He has held every committee position, including serving as a core negotiator on three salary negotiations, as well as regional director and Vice-President for three years.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “I believe Chris will bring a high level of commitment and experience to the role,” departing President Greg O’Connor said.</div> <div>  </div> <div> “He has shown himself to be a strong advocate for police as an Association member and representative, and I am confident he will ensure that the voice of police officers will continue to be heard in the law and order environment.”</div> <div>  </div> <div> Mr Cahill will take over the position of President from Mr O’Connor, who announced at last year’s conference that he would not seek re-election after serving 21 years in the role.</div> Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 23:00 Media Releases Fallen colleagues remembered on Police Remembrance Day <p><strong><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“Whatever else we do in Police, this day is the one that reminds us that being a police officer is different,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said after attending the national Police Remembrance Day service today.</span></strong></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“The day is about those slain on duty and remembering that they made the ultimate sacrifice,” Mr O’Connor said.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“I’ve been coming to this service for many years now, and as I hear those names read out, I put myself in the position of each of them in their last moments of the event that caused their death,” Mr O’Connor said.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“WhenI look around and see the police officers here, it is a sobering reminder that it could be any of us, at any time”.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">Police Remembrance Day falls on the 29</span><sup style="line-height: 1.4em;">th</sup><span style="line-height: 1.4em;"> of September, the feast day of the Archangel Michael, patron saint of police, and was observed today with a service at the Royal New Zealand Police College and in services around the country.</span></p> <p><img alt="Police Remembrance Pin" src="/system/files/image/feature/Remembrance Pin.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 151px; float: right;" /></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">Police staff, family members and others wore the distinctive huia feather-shaped Police Remembrance Pin as they reflected on those who have lost their lives in service to the society they swore to protect. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">The Police Remembrance Pin was designed by the Police Association as a way for members of Police across New Zealand to feel part of the day. Introduced in partnership with NZ Police, the pin has been promoted and embraced as the symbol of police remembrance in New Zealand.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“A growing number of police and others are now wearing the Police Remembrance Pin on Remembrance Day, and in the days leading up to it, as a sign of respect for those who have lost their lives.  It is humbling for police to see the widespread support from their colleagues and other New Zealanders for the sacrifices police officers have made for their safety,” Mr O’Connor said.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">This year, three historical names were added to the Memorial Wall, bringing the number of officers slain on duty to 32. The deaths of Constable James Butler, Constable Louis Heke Bidois and Detective Constable Ronald Bernard Hill, had been identified by the Police Recognition Project  and plaques added to the Wall to commemorate them.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">The service also remembered 40 officers and employees who have died as a result of their duty, along with serving and former constabulary staff and employees who have died in the past year.</span></p> Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 13:14 Media Releases Rise in child abuse investigations reflects pressure – Police Assn <p><strong>“Child abuse investigation has been a very heavily audited and scrutinised area of policing since the IPCA inquiry in 2007,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.</strong></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">Mr O’Connor was referring to media articles today which pointed out the considerable workload increase and the increase in the number of victims in this area.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“Despite the emphasis on, and resourcing of, this area, there is now clearly still a considerable backlog of files and pressure on staff. Experience has shown that other areas of policing which do not receive the same attention were unable to meet demand and problems have arisen,” Mr O’Connor said.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“The Association fears that the new emphasis on burglaries, while to be commended, will simply result in resources being taken from other areas such as organised crime and drug investigations, and New Zealand will pay the price in years to come.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“There simply must be more than a commitment for more staff in the future – there needs to be funding so the process of filling these gaps can begin now.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“Any comfort that may be gained from promises of more staff will quickly dissipate as more and more problems emerge,” Mr O’Connor said.</span></p> Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 16:55 Media Releases Burglary tells the real story of crime – Police Assn <p><strong>“While many offence types can fluctuate, burglary figures tend to be a very good litmus test of how much criminal activity is taking place in the community,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.</strong></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">Mr O’Connor was commenting on the 11.9% increase in the number of burglaries nationwide over the past year, as revealed in official crime statistics released by Statistics New Zealand today.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“While it is pleasing to see that the focus is now on burglaries across the political spectrum, including the recent policy announcement that police are attending all burglaries, the danger is that we do not recognise that burglaries are often a symptom of bigger problems, especially organised crime and drug problems,” Mr O’Connor said.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“The prevalence of methamphetamine, both in the number of seizures and as a factor in crime, shows the need to attack crime across all dimensions. Focusing purely on burglaries may inadvertently cause problems elsewhere if resources are moved away from other areas.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“What is clear is that the public are now becoming concerned that the crime situation is deteriorating, an inevitability after many years of under-investment.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">“We are now seeing political parties, including the government, accepting there is a need to increase police numbers. But it cannot wait for an election – this government must find the money now to increase police numbers across the board so that community concerns about crime can be addressed,” Mr O’Connor said.</span></p> Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 15:41 Media Releases Response to NZ Herald column on police pursuits <p>On 10 August a column by Brian Rudman was published in the NZ Herald that called for the end of police pursuits.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4em;">Read the column: <a href="" target="_blank">Brian Rudman: Pursuit death a heavy toll for crime of idiocy</a></span></p> <p>Police Association President Greg O'Connor responded by way of a letter to the editor of the NZ Herald. Below is his response.</p> <p> </p> <p>Dear Sir,</p> <p>Brian Rudman’s (10 Aug) view blaming police for fleeing driver crashes, ignores the fact that the vast majority of deaths and injuries occur within a very short time of those drivers accelerating away from the initial attempt by Police to pull them over.  It is the knowledge that Police are unlikely to continue a pursuit if the driving is dangerous enough, which incentivises those drivers to flee at speed. </p> <p>Fleeing driver incidents rose 57% from 2005 to 2015, the number of abandoned pursuits rose 179% over the same period, but the deaths continue.  </p> <p>We have inadvertently given bad drivers the green light to flee at speed.  Mr Rudman’s solution will entail police never attempting to pull such drivers over in the first place, and just policing law abiding drivers who it is calculated will not flee.</p> <p>Greg O’Connor</p> <p>President, <span style="line-height: 1.4em;">NZ Police Association</span></p> Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 09:32 Media Releases Police officers see relief in sight – Police Association <p><strong>“Frontline police officers around New Zealand will be watching the current political discussion around police numbers with a great sense of relief that their plight has been acknowledged”, Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.</strong></p> <p>Mr O’Connor was responding to the fact that Labour, NZ First, Auckland mayoral candidate Phil Goff, and now the Prime Minister have all clearly seen the need to increase police numbers and are setting policy accordingly.</p> <p>Mr O'Connor said, “NZ First leader Winston Peters indicated today he believed an increase of 1800 police was needed, Labour have acknowledged that there are simply not enough police, Phil Goff has pointed out that in recent times numbers of Auckland police alone have only increased by one new officer per year, despite huge increases in population, and now the Prime Minister has said that an increase in police numbers is ‘likely’ as the population grows”.</p> <p>“The Police Association has been concerned for some time that the increase in calls for service from the public and now an increase in crime, both reflective of population increases, have not been addressed by a corresponding increase in police numbers or budget. </p> <p>“The public of New Zealand, along with those police officers who are tasked with protecting them, should take some comfort that the lack of police has now been clearly recognised at the highest levels. While it will take some time for the numbers to materialise into actual feet on the street, the fact the problem is now recognised means we can work on a solution.</p> <p>“The Government began increasing Counties Manukau numbers by 300 in 2008, and that had a significant impact on making that district a much safer place. The same proportionate increase in each of the other 11 districts would make New Zealand safer for New Zealanders.</p> <p>“New Zealand increasingly has the opportunity to be seen as the safest place to visit and do business, but this will not happen unless we invest strategically in law and order capability", Mr O’Connor said.</p> <p>“New Zealand Police have introduced new structures, practices and technology which has increased efficiency considerably in recent times. These changes have mitigated to a certain extent the falling police to population ratios, but the time has now come to address the shortages.</p> <p>“The Association remains politically neutral through such debates, and will continue its strategy of supporting good policies and not political parties”, he said.</p> <p>---------------------</p> <p>Read more about the <a href="">Association'</a><span style="line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="">s Policy Position on Police Numbers</a> from our 2014 Policy Document.</span></p> Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 16:01 Media Releases Another Kaitaia homicide will further stretch staff <p><strong>“News this morning that the Far North policing area now has their fourth homicide this year is just more evidence of why policing issues in the area need to be addressed,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.</strong></p> <p>Mr O’Connor was commenting on the police investigation into the fatal stabbing of a 77-year-old man in Te Kao overnight.</p> <p>“I have personally visited the Far North twice this year and staff are under extreme pressure to try to keep the lid on a burgeoning gang and drug problem. I have highlighted the issue to the Police administration, and some short term relief has been forthcoming,” Mr O’Connor said.</p> <p>“Kaitaia and the Far North are a symptom of the problem which has seen the police to population ratio in New Zealand slip from one officer per 515 head of population in 2014 to today’s one officer for every 528 people.</p> <p>“Despite assurances to the contrary, there has been no change to the RAT (Resource Allocation Target) figure target for sworn police in New Zealand which is 8,907. This figure is rarely reached, and as of last month, the number of sworn police (excluding Authorised Officers) sat at 8,604,” he said.*</p> <p>“Police numbers do make a difference, as evidenced by the considerable input made in Counties Manukau post-2008, when the government increased staff numbers by 300. Were the same percentage increase to be applied to every other police district, a considerable difference could be made to the safety of the public in New Zealand.</p> <p>“As further evidence of the impact of reduced police numbers, the road toll has increased considerably at a time when police are being forced to reduce road policing staff numbers by 111,” Mr O’Connor said.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>*Source: NZ Police Monthly HR Report. The number of total constabulary including Authorised Officers was 8,837.</em></p> Friday, August 5, 2016 - 16:49 Media Releases Focus on the "why" for shootings <p><strong>"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</strong>.</p> <p>Mr O'Connor was commenting after the shooting of two men by police this week.</p> <p>"The common denominator in both events was methamphetamine," he said.<br /> "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.</p> <p>"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.</p> <p>“The Methamphetamine Action Plan launched in 2008 has been unsuccessful, and needs to be revisited. Recent large seizures are evidence of that.</p> <p>"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.</p> <p> </p> Monday, July 18, 2016 - 09:41 Media Releases