Violence against police should not be tolerated

News that a police officer was shot last night is incredibly concerning and my thoughts are with him and his family. I wish him a speedy recovery, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Our frontline officers put themselves in harm’s way every day in order to keep New Zealanders safe and they deserve our utmost respect for doing a job that is increasingly becoming more dangerous.

“In just the past few days we have seen a police officer rammed with a car in Auckland and now this shooting in Hamilton. I commend the police for their efforts in arresting the alleged gunman this morning.

“Beyond the rising violence and day to day risk of being a Police Officer, we are also seeing more anti-police rhetoric imported from overseas. The demonization of the Police – even at times by elected officials – contributes to more hostility on the streets and further aggression towards officers.   

“Tougher penalties are urgently needed to send a very clear message that assaulting a police officer is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. However, the Government does not agree. Labour voted down National’s member’s bill earlier this year which would have imposed harsher penalties.

“The Government also did away with Armed Response Teams which gave frontline Police Officers extra support particularly when dealing with armed offenders.

“The reality is violence is on the rise under this Government with more gang members and more firearm violence.

“National are the party of law and order and we will not stand by while our Police are being assaulted and shot.”