Police association front page news https://policeassn.org.nz/ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:02:31 +1300 Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:02:31 +1300 Police News February 2018 https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/police-news/police-news-february-2018 In this issue: Burden for life - the cost of firing a fatal shot; the 501 deportee phenomenon; camera-shy cops; ten questions with VP Marcia Murray; and meet your Member Services team. Read articles President's Column: The toughest call an officer will ever make Burden for Life: The cost of firing a fatal shot Vicious assaults over summer Equipt yourself Police News (Magazine) Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:41 +1200 Police association front page news Police Sports Awards - Nominations Now Open https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/events/police-sports-awards-nominations-now-open Nominations are now open for the 2017 Police Association Police Sports Awards. Last year, we had well over 30 Police sportsmen and women represent New Zealand and it’s time to acknowledge their achievements with the New Zealand Police Association Police Sports Awards for 2017. The awards acknowledge Police sportspeople performing at the highest level, as well as the hard work of officials and administrators. Award categories The award categories are: NZPA Sportsperson of the Year NZPA Sports Administrator of the Year NZPA Sports Official of the Year NZPA Team of the Year Nominations For a nomination form, email Dave Gallagher at info@policesport.org.nz Nominations close on Friday 23 March 2018. You can nominate yourself or someone else. Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:02:31 +1200 Police association front page news Police Association President’s speech to Otago University firearms and public health seminar https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/media-releases/police-association-president%E2%80%99s-speech-otago-university-firearms 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.   Address to Public Health Summer School, 14 February 2018 Chris Cahill President, NZ Police Association 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. We need to avoid resorting to extremes which we see paralysing jurisdictions such as the United States.  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. 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. 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.   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. 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. 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. On the front line the figure jumps to 21% threatened at least once in the last year. 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. Advocating for public health is all about prevention of illness and injury.   It is about promotion of healthy behaviour in every aspect of community life, including policing.  The reality for our communities and for our police officers defies those who write off gun violence as “‘merely a phenomena restricted to gangs”. Tell that to the Wellington taxi-driver shot in a late night debacle over a fare. Tell that to Department of Conservation workers who have been shot at while on the job protecting our environment. Tell that to the numerous dairy owners forced at gunpoint to empty their tills and cigarette shelves. The Association’s beef is not with the majority of legitimate licensed firearms owners. 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.   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. 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.   The latest figures released by Police show they know of: * 13, 331 MSSAs * 40,605 pistols * 1419 other restricted firearms, and * 4,676 restricted sub machine guns (SMGs) and machine guns (MGs). As a society we need to ask why, for example, seven thousand Kiwis need nearly 14,000 military style semi-automatic weapons between them?  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. 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.” 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.  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”.   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.   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. 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!” 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. Who knows where they ended up. 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. 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. In answer to an OIA on the accuracy of firearms recording in the National Intelligence Application computer system (NIA) Police revealed · there is little knowledge of the requirement to record seized or surrendered firearms; · many firearms officers claimed they didn’t know about the national recording standards; · multiple paper records and recording systems lead to inconsistencies, inaccuracies and make it difficult to collate accurate statistics. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.” 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. 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.  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.” 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. Large numbers of gang members and professional criminals have long had access to firearms but they were generally well-hidden and they were expensive. 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.  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.   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. I see daily reports of the front-line reality of illegal firearms.  The three officers shot at with an MSSA in Morrinsville last year could so easily have been seriously injured or killed.  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 I‘ll give you a brief synopsis of what our members face nationwide. I think you will get the picture. 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 Papakura – a burglary 4 12-gauge shotguns, 3  semi-auto shotguns. 1 .308 rifle, 4000 rounds of 12 gauge ammo Massey –  an AR15 with 60 .223 rounds and pistol located in storage unit 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 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 Whanganui - a 2.2 semi auto sawn off aimed at a police officer by an aggravated robbery suspect Palmerston North – police confronted at an address by male with a loaded cut-down firearm Levin – a warrant search of property located 4 rifles, 4 pistols, a shotgun and 540 rounds of ammo   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 Milton – a near miss when the trigger pulled on a firearm pointed at an officer thankfully malfunctioned  Dunedin – a licensed owner burgled of several MSSAs, five rifles, 23 handguns and 25,000 rounds of ammo Invercargill – a routine traffic stop revealed 5 illegal firearms, four of which were loaded with rounds in the chamber ready to fire. 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. On balance it is not entirely a bad thing that we don’t have a gun-focused news diet. 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. I am often told there is no use in registration of firearms because criminals don’t register their firearms. I think we can agree on that. 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. 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. I don’t buy the seductive simplicity of the argument that registration is an ‘onus’ on law abiding gun owners. This argument fits neatly into what is called the Lawbreaker Paradox that: Law-abiding citizens obey the law; Criminals are, by definition lawbreakers so they don’t obey the law; Laws impose restrictions on the behaviour of those that follow them; Therefore, laws hurt only law abiding citizens. Illicit firearms possession and violence is an everyday issue in policing and simply sticking with the status quo is not working. 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. 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”. That is a pretty sound definition of where firearms fit within a public health perspective.  New Zealand could do well taking a good look at this agreement through the lens of public health on this side of the ditch. Media Releases Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:47:27 +1200 Police association front page news President's Column: The toughest call an officer will ever make https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/presidents-column/presidents-column-toughest-call-officer-will-ever-make In this issue of Police News, officers living with the consequences of having taken a life in the line of duty tell their side of the story. What they have to say powerfully represents voices that all too often are lost in the post-incident publicity of such tragic events. Pulling the trigger is, without doubt, the toughest call an officer will ever make, and the rules surrounding it are clear – it must be self-defence or defence of another and has to withstand a robust legal test. It is the most scrutinised action an officer will undertake and the consequences are severe – for the person who has been killed, for their family and friends and also for the officer and his or her family and friends. These critical incidents are always publicly dissected, with the benefit of hindsight, by those who will never know the repercussions of taking such an action. Shooting another person is a traumatic event – one that most members of society never expect to have to experience. A recent series of articles on police shootings published by Stuff suggested there was a significant problem with the number and type of police shootings in New Zealand. While it is absolutely appropriate that the use of lethal force by officers be subjected to intense investigation, context is part of that scrutiny and needs to be recognised in analysis of critical incidents. There is little to be gained by comparing New Zealand to Australia when Australians have grown up with an armed police force and armed offenders fully expect that, if they confront an officer, there is a real prospect they will be shot. That is not the case in New Zealand and there’s a possibility that some who have confronted police might have acted differently if they knew they were facing an armed officer. Comparison to the United Kingdom is also problematic. Unlike the UK, New Zealand has a gun culture and relatively easy access to firearms (although there are indications that is changing in Britain, particularly in London – see story next page). The chance of a confrontation between an armed offender and an armed police officer is much higher here. Every action of an officer who shoots a member of our society is investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority, Police and the Coroner. This combination of investigations and reports can sometimes take years and that has an impact on all the parties involved. If a police shooting in New Zealand fails to meet the legal prescription under the Crimes Act, the officer will be prosecuted. That has never happened here. There has been one private prosecution taken against an officer and that failed. Police and the Association are duty bound to ensure that the welfare of officers involved in critical incidents is at the forefront of a current Police review of such events. For members who have stepped up, placed their lives on the line and had to make a split-second decision in an emergency, their welfare must be at the core of our response. President's Columns Wed, 07 Feb 2018 13:25:14 +1200 Police association front page news Burden for Life https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/burden-life Police has set up a critical incident working group to review the handling of serious situations such as police shootings. After a rise in such shootings, Police has acknowledged it can do better to help members who are forced to fire in the line of duty. By Ellen Brook. In the past five years, 18 people have been shot by police and, of those, 10 died. Last year, a Stuff story questioned the actions of police involved in some of those fatal shootings. It questioned their tactical decision making and training. It raised suspicions over why they hadn’t faced criminal charges and disciplinary action from Police. It called into question the findings of the IPCA where officers’ actions were found to be lawful. It quoted a lawyer describing officers this way: “They just Rambo-like pulled the trigger ... and hoped they’d hit something.” The gist of the story was that there is insufficient scrutiny and a lack of consequences for police who fire a fatal shot in the course of their work. For the officers involved, and who read that story, their reactions range from anger to weary disappointment. They are not able to respond to such stories. They rely on Police spokespeople and the Police Association to take their part. Meanwhile, some of them are going through a sort of hell that only those who have pulled the trigger in a fatal shooting can relate to – not just for them, but for their families and the families of the person who has been killed. They are stuck in anonymous isolation, waiting to find out the results of ensuing Police, IPCA (Independent Police Conduct Authority) and coronial investigations, unable to talk openly about the incident, and trying to come to terms with what has happened. In a few seconds many lives have been changed forever, and it could happen on any shift at any time. No police officer goes to work wanting to take a life. No one wants to be that person who fires the fatal shot. But when it is you – when your job has put you in that moment – you have to act, they say. When Officer A* was faced with the opportunity to stop an armed offender, he did, but it took courage, he says. “It’s not easy to pull that trigger. Not everyone can do it, but you can’t hesitate or someone else might die.” Another officer faced with an armed offender recalls: “He really left me no choice. If I hadn’t fired, he would have shot me, one of my colleagues or a member of the public. It puts you in a horrible place where you have to take action because no one else will.” In both cases, the threat to police and the public was over, but it was just the start of the awful burden that descends on officers after a police shooting, not helped in some cases by poor communication from Police and speculation in the media. For Officer A, there was the initial interview with Police and mandatory counselling, but during three days’ leave, he says, he didn’t hear from anyone. “They never told me about the investigation, what was happening… Was I in trouble? Why weren’t they contacting me?” He took some more leave and after a week of no contact, he was even more worried. “I was thinking, is something wrong, am I in trouble or do they just not give a shit? I was worried about myself, my family, my job – imagining the worst-case scenario. Was I going to be charged with murder? My wife was also going through hell. “I don’t think there was any ill will on the part of Police, it just never occurred to them, but they are learning now.” Officer B* didn’t sleep for three days after fatally shooting an armed offender. “I was totally strung out, an emotional wreck, replaying it in my mind, and worried I would be charged with murder,” he says. “We do get briefings beforehand about what might happen during these sorts of investigations, but all anyone ever thinks about is Waitara, where the officer involved was charged with murder [in a private prosecution]. It’s hard to think rationally, even if you believe you did the right thing. “At the time, I felt a lot of anger towards the offender. Why didn’t he put the gun down? Why did he put me in that situation? I really didn’t want that to happen. I wanted it to be resolved peacefully.” He took two weeks off work, but when he returned he found that none of the files he had been working on had been picked up, even though he had requested they be taken care of. “I was behind the eight ball and it all snowballed until I had a bit of a breakdown. I went to the doctor and my blood pressure was through the roof. He told me I shouldn’t be at work. “I took five weeks off to relax and calm down. If I’d had more support with my workload before that, I wouldn’t have had to take that time off.” He doesn’t blame Police. “Dealing with these situations is a relatively new thing. No one has much experience of it.” The biggest issues for him were the ongoing worry about the Police investigation – “being investigated by your colleagues is really hard and it went on for a year” – then the coronial process, plus the stigma of such incidents and the impact it had on his family. The incident led to some significant changes in his circumstances, including changing his work group and shifting to a new city. “I’m a big boy. I knew I might have to make that decision one day. In many ways, it affected my wife more than me.  Police said don’t tell anyone, so we took that advice, which meant she wasn’t able to talk about it, even with the people closest to her. She also had to cope with me being pretty self-absorbed for months. Eventually, she did confide in some people and that immediately lifted a weight from her.” He says it should be mandatory for partners to see a counsellor too. Ongoing support has helped him. “I can see a psychologist whenever I want to, and because I did see one regularly during the first six months, I recognise when I am going through a low patch. “Also, it’s a very personal thing – personal to me and him and his family.” Officer A recalls intense feelings of anger and grief and recognises the benefit of his visits with the psychologist. “It’s important to know that you will get through it and get back to work, with help from colleagues, family and, above all, good communication from Police.”   For Officer C*, his experiences have spurred him into action to raise awareness over what he sees as a lack of understanding about the effects of fatal shootings on the officers who have taken the life of an offender. “I do not want to see any other members travel the path I have been down,” he says. After shooting a man dead during a police call-out he became crippled with guilt and developed PTSI (post-traumatic stress injury) symptoms, including flashbacks and nightmares. “No amount of training can prepare you for the psychological implications of taking another person’s life. Even when it is justified, it makes little difference to the human psyche,” he says. “I take no pride or satisfaction in taking my offender’s life and it is certainly no badge of honour. It is a burden I carry every day and although I have learnt to live with it, it has been a struggle.” The key to recovery and avoiding PTSI, which can sometimes develop years later, he says, is making peace with the memory. “From a professional, dispassionate point of view, I had no qualms about killing my offender, but from a human perspective it caused me great pain. Burying your memory alive is dangerous for your mental wellbeing and will eventually come back to haunt you.” It was about 18 months after the incident that he began to experience PTSI symptoms, although, at first, he didn’t recognise what it was. “The colour of orange dawn and dusk were my major triggers and every time I drove through road works, I would be back at the scene.” Instead of seeking help, he says, he kept things to himself, waking up in the night crying with guilt, anger and frustration, seeking refuge in alcohol and struggling at work. “It was like I had a volcano bubbling away inside of me just waiting to explode. I refused to seek help because I felt a deep sense of shame. I thought I should have been able to  resolve things just as I felt I had during and immediately after the incident.” He began disintegrating mentally over a period of about six months and eventually did seek help, but, unfortunately, he says, the damage had been done and it had cost him dearly, both privately and at work. “I was able to mask things from my workmates, but I was just bullshitting myself and living in denial. I was bitter too, because there are things I can’t undo or fix in my personal life now.” Dealing with the PTSI was the hardest part, and it made him question whether he still wanted to be a police officer. “I felt vulnerable, lonely and lost all confidence in myself. The best way to describe PTSI is imagine your most stressful day and then multiply it by 150. “I have seen the darkest depths of my psyche and faced my demons many times since my incident. “Within our organisation most people don’t understand the mental pain that you suffer after taking an offender’s life,” he says. “It preyed on my subconscious and stripped away my humanity.” He is advocating for studies to be done into the effects of shootings on police officers. “We need to start having open and realistic conversations about this subject because at some point we will lose a member who was unable to cope to suicide. “Our generation owes it to the next generation to make sure we have a better understanding of what they are likely to face and the implications of dealing with fatal and non-fatal shootings.” Officer C says that he and his colleagues who have been involved in fatal shootings have experienced an extremely abnormal event that most other people will never go through. “After my incident, I felt a part of me had died. It is a part of me that I will never get back and remains at the scene of my shooting.” From the point of view of these officers, any suggestion that there are no consequences for their actions could not be more wrong. And there’s a more subtle effect, one that’s hard to talk about, says Officer B. It’s lack of recognition from Police for their actions. “If I went out and dealt with an armed offender and I was unarmed and didn’t get shot, I’d probably get an award for bravery. Am I less brave because I was armed and did what was required? “If, in the future, my kid finds out about this, I don’t want him thinking I did something wrong. I want him to know that I did something right.”   *Anonymity remains vital for these working police officers.   Focus on Welfare These officers’ concerns are central to what Police’s Critical Incident Working Group (CIWG) will be considering and making recommendations on regarding post-shooting procedures. Superintendent Anna Jackson, national manager police professional conduct, says Police has listened to its staff and recognises that, following police shootings, welfare has not previously been the key priority it should be. “More consideration needs to be given to the officers, the families of all involved and to the public,” she says. The CIWG, which meets monthly, is made up of representatives from Wellness and Safety, Investigations, Dog Section, AOS, the Police College, Public Affairs, HR, the Continuous Improvement Group, Professional Conduct and the Police Association. It is working through several policy recommendation options, including: • Raising awareness during training about what to expect after a shooting and what supervisors are expected to do • Standardising post-shooting responses, which currently vary from district to district • Not recording post-shooting leave for staff as being “stood down” • Appointing family liaison officers and providing a support information pamphlet • Appointing a critical incident liaison officer (probably an AOS member) as a single point of contact throughout the process • Providing a long-term point of contact for psychological and legal care • Guidelines for dealing with media • Private ceremonies to formally recognise the efforts of staff. The CIWG also wants anonymity for officers from the outset of a critical incident, but that would require an amendment to the Policing Act 2008 (see story next page). Ms Jackson said the Police legal services and policy group had been asked to provide advice on the issue.   Name suppression Should police officers be granted anonymity in the Coroner’s Court? The Police Association thinks so and has the backing of Susan Hughes QC, who last year urged a “concerted campaign” to have changes made to the Policing Act 2008. She wants assurances that officers involved in critical incidents will not have their names made public during the processes involved in such events. “Many of these events occur in rural or provincial areas. The concerns I have heard on many occasions are, ‘I need to keep my family safe’, and, ‘I can’t be identified, I will become a target’. Frankly, anonymity is the least that such officers should expect.” Ms Hughes says there is a willingness among coroners to consider issues such as “closure” for a bereaved family and to provide the family an opportunity to ask questions, “but where does the officer feature in this paradigm?” She questions the lack of balance between the interests of the family of the deceased and the interests of the officer and his or her family, who would already have been through a homicide investigation, an internal policy and procedure investigation and investigation by the IPCA. “By the time the matter comes before the Coroner, a decision will have been made as to whether the shooting was justified or not,” she says. “If it was not justified, the officer will face the criminal courts. If justified, then should that decision be reviewed by the Coroner? “Can a Coroner add to the information already available? If the answer is no, then an inquest should not be convened, and, if it does go ahead, then the officer or officers should have automatic name suppression.” The Police Association’s view is that there should be automatic name suppression for any police officer involved in a fatal incident in the course of performing his or her duty, at least until a court finds an officer guilty of an offence causing a fatality.   Featured Articles Fri, 09 Feb 2018 14:38:29 +1200 Police association front page news Equipt yourself https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/equipt-yourself The popular health and wellbeing app Equipt is now available for download on Police iPhones through the New Zealand Police App Store. Developed for current and former Police staff and families, the free Equipt app is designed to help boost your mood, mind and physical and social wellbeing. It was developed in Australia by the Victoria Police Association and Victoria Police with input from members and the Phoenix Australia Centre for Post-Traumatic Mental Health. The New Zealand version has been customised by the New Zealand Police Association and New Zealand Police for use here and features a range of tools to manage your wellbeing, including controlling stress, sleep issues and putting you in touch with support if you need it. HOW TO ACCESS THE EQUIPT APP Police phones – download from the New Zealand Police App Store Personal phones – download from Google Play for Android phones or the App Store for iPhones   Featured Articles Fri, 09 Feb 2018 14:25:03 +1200 Police association front page news Vicious assaults over summer https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/vicious-assaults-over-summer There have been some nasty attacks on members during routine policing this holiday season. A kick, a punch or projectiles of spittle are, unfortunately, regular occurrences, but some recent incidents have gone beyond everyday scuffles. In the worst case, a road policing officer was struck by a vehicle after he had laid road spikes to try to stop it. He was thrown about five metres in the air, landing in a drain. He was taken to hospital with serious leg injuries and then suffered complications including infection and a pulmonary embolism. Another member was the victim of an assault in court cells. He received a broken eye socket, which required surgery, and a broken tooth when he was kicked in the head. It was his last shift before retiring. A female officer attempting to restrain a prisoner had a clump of her hair ripped out. Another officer received horrible injuries to his upper arm and thumb after he was bitten so hard it broke the skin, resulting in bleeding and a visible ring of teeth marks (pictured, right). When the officer attempted to dislodge the biter using his other hand, the offender then latched onto his thumb with his teeth. The officer required hospital treatment and a tetanus injection. Meanwhile, two members were checked for whiplash after the patrol vehicle they were in was rammed from behind and written off. These assaults are the most notable from a catalogue that also includes a fractured thumb and torn ligaments, a swollen face and mouth from being punched in the head, a broken nose and being hit in the thigh with a machete (fortunately causing bruising only). The Police Association offers support to injured officers, but, as President Chris Cahill notes, it would be better if such attacks did not occur in the first place. “These disgusting attacks reflect the dangers our members face and also why we need to make every effort to protect ourselves, as well as ensuring that Police provides the safest operating environment possible for staff,” he says. “We should never accept that assaults like this are just part of the job. Officers have every right to expect that when such offenders appear before the courts, the sentences they receive will act as a deterrent and make it clear that society will not tolerate such attacks on its police.” Featured Articles Wed, 07 Feb 2018 13:47:36 +1200 Police association front page news Holiday Homes - trouble booking or paying? https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/events/holiday-homes-trouble-booking-or-paying Please clear your browser cache. If you need any help with this, contact our Member Services team on 0800 500 122 or email: enquiries@policeassn.org.nz. Fri, 06 Oct 2017 23:00:00 +1200 Police association front page news