Nearly 40% more police officers have been threatened with a firearm in the last two years, a new survey shows.
The latest survey of Police Association members is very sobering, president Chris Cahill says, and shows the impact illegal firearms are having within our communities, and on policing.
“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,” he said.
The survey shows a 38% increase in the number of officers threatened with a firearm in the last two years, and for frontline officers at least 20% have been threatened at least once in the last year.
However, one in three of those who have been threatened have not reported every incident, which Mr Cahill said is concerning.
He said he had received messages from officers wondering when they will be allowed to be armed at all times, and according to a recent survey, the support from the public sits at 55% who agree.
Police officer support for general arming is significantly higher at 66% in favour, Mr Cahill said of this most recent survey.
“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.
“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.” NZN