Govt finally sees sense on Armed Response Teams

The Government’s announcement it will deploy Tactical Prevention Teams is a clear admission that firearms violence and gang membership in New Zealand is out of control, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown.

“The Government has wasted months refusing to agree with National that our police need more support. It’s now finally realised how big the issue is and has introduced Armed Response Teams disguised as the Tactical Prevention Teams.

“Whilst this is good news for frontline police officers who have been facing increasing firearm violence on the frontline this simply reinforces the fact that the Armed Response Teams should never have been abandoned by Labour.

“Armed Response Teams gave frontline officers rapid support from specially trained units in dangerous situations or where firearms were present. Not having these units available has left frontline officers vulnerable and unsupported.

“Finally the Police Commissioner and Police Minister are acknowledging the increasing risk our police officers are facing on the frontline, but this support was needed much sooner.

“Under this Labour Government gang membership has increased by 50 per cent under this Labour Government and frontline officers have told National how the criminal landscape has changed quickly in the past few years with criminals not afraid to present firearms at the public and police and the increasing levels of violence in our communities.

“It’s clear Labour’s soft on crime approach simply isn’t working.

“National will support our frontline police so they have the tools and support to do their job as they work tirelessly to maintain and improve community safety.”