Police Association warns of firearms dangers to police and public

Source: New Zealand Police Association

NZPA | Wed February 27th, 2019

The Police Association has grave concerns about the safety of police officers following the recent incidents which appear to show they have, once again, been deliberately shot at.

Association President Chris Cahill says that concern most certainly extends to the safety of innocent members of the public who, as last night’s incident in suburban Richmond showed, were just getting on with their lives in their own neighbourhood.

“The one biggest dread I have in my role is getting that call to say a police officer has been shot and killed.”

Yet as every day passes, and the reports of firearms incidents becomes relentless, I fear that call is ever closer unless we seriously crack down on the proliferation of illegal firearms,” Mr Cahill said.

“I have been keeping watch on the number of firearms incidents now being reported in everyday media, and since last June there have been at least 60,” he said.

“On top of that are the daily reports from Association members of finding firearms during routine police stops and property and personal searches throughout New Zealand. These rarely make the news. ”

Mr Cahill says it is not good enough to downplay New Zealand’s increasing issue with firearms by writing off such incidents as the domains of gangs or organised criminals.

“The families who were forced to take shelter in Christchurch last night know, following their appalling experience, that firearms in the hands of the wrong people are terrifying and a potential risk to us all.”

“I want to make it very clear that my concerns are not about law abiding firearms owners who securely store their guns.  My focus is on the ease at which people can access firearms, especially through burglaries, and the fact that no-one actually knows how many firearms are out in our communities because we are not required to register them individually,” Mr Cahill said. 

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