For every muppet who wants to arm the cops – 5 reasons not to


Oh surprise, surprise, the over the top alpha ‘respect my authority’ cops with their bullshit guns blazing tactics were according the the IPCA, deeply flawed. –

What a fucking shock, for every muppet who wants to arm these clowns, read this…

Kawerau siege: IPCA says AOS should not have entered house which led to gunfight with Rhys Warren, injuries to four officers

…’respect my authority’ can’t be a Police policy.

Barging in all guns blazing isn’t a solution.

5 reasons not to arm NZ cops:

1 – NZ cops can’t be trusted: I hate to bring this up in a culture that has an authority worship fetish, but the NZ cops can’t be trusted with them all being armed. Look at this case in 2014, we had two frontline cops who lied about why they tasered a man, and then had 3 levels of check and balance cops above that – including the Police prosecutor – who knew the evidence was false, but lied and covered up for each other. That was over an illegal tasering, Christ only knows the level of deceit we would start seeing if it was over wrongful shootings.

In short, we don’t have the checks and balances available to us to protect us from these ego bloated alpha males who watch way too many American cop movies.

2 – The cost: Again, what is utterly missed in this debate is the ill trained cops. We would need to embark upon a huge retraining of Police if they are going to be carrying guns all the time. That means fixed shooting gallery time and regular training sessions. Just handing guns out to every cop without the ongoing extra cost of training  would be irresponsible in the extreme. How mush ‘safer’ will NZ be for the millions in arming and training the cops with a new toy?

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3 – recipe for civilian casualties: NZers are not going to accept cops coming into their homes with guns. You can almost see it in your minds eye, a domestic incident, Police turn up, with guns on their hips, people see the guns, start yelling at the Police to leave their property with a gun, one person advances on the other, guns get drawn, a mix of obstinance and anger results in a shooting. We are not a people who will tolerate big swinging dick cops coming into our personal spaces armed. The guns will become an immediate source of tension, and that tension will get played out time and time and time again.

4 – the militarisation of the police: We can vividly see in America what happens when the police force gets militarised. If we open this gate, expect a flood of US services wanting to make their presence felt, including those who arm cops up to the teeth. Once we start down the ‘arm all police’ road, it never stops.

5 – 100 years of Police philosophy: We have a containment philosophy for NZ policing and we’ve had it for about a century. If a person poses the public or Police a threat with a weapon, the Police contain the situation until specialist trained teams turn up and resolve that conflict. That philosophy is far better in a civil democratic modern state than a pumped up cop force playing soldier boy with all guns blazing.

Allowing every ill trained front line pleb to carry a gun within a work culture that covers up for one another is the single last thing NZ Policing needs. It will result in more shootings with NZers becoming the target. Police already kill so many civilians in this country via their ill trained and dangerous high speed chase protocols, do we really want to arm them on top of that?

Don’t the Police kill enough of us annually as it is?


  1. + they are by their own admission overworked. Tired and stressed doesn’t scream responsible operator of a weapon designed to kill.

    The ongoing training issue seems to have been horribly glossed over.

  2. So many grey questions. At what point do the police actually draw arms? Would they be quick to put them away once things desecalate? How many warning shots? Any? Would they carry them at riots or public demos, would they draw them if spat upon or sworn at? Police in the(good) old days stood with their arms behind their backs protected by moustaches, truncheons and aire of calm authority. They did pretty ok against drunks and madmen. Stab vests came along and we got defensive folded arms and batwings plus belts packed with sprays and tasers to use against the aggro deranged or drugged up. So will police then rest their hands on their holsters, figuratively and literally? So many unanswered questions. On that day moral authority will give way to authoritism.

  3. The NZ Police can’t be trusted especially the white ones who make up the majority of our police as they are given the task of policing mainly the Maori population and their record of tolerance toward Maori is well known amongst the public and their inner circle.

    They already rort their obligations lie and obfuscate the truth to gain a conviction or cover their misdeeds and why are they and their lobby group so anti-body camera? Also how many police have died in the history of policing in this country??? compared to how many they have killed?

    This would create immediate accountability for each individuals actions ,this was introduced in Las Vegas where the police had one of the highest police civilian fatality stats in the states ,after body cams were introduced they are now one of the lowest .
    The body cams are cheap non obtrusive and above all always impartial .the police are civil servants and prison guards are civil servants and do not need to be asked I would have thought ,just told that this us how it’s going to be ,would reduce the amount of corrupt practices ,needless fatalities and dangerous practises employed by the police on a day to day basis ,hey maybe we could begin to trust them again rather than loathe …
    Body cams is the way to go for sure ,accountability and transparency above everything

  5. You have set up a row of straw men here and proceeded to shoot them down.

    There are some good arguments against police being armed; better than making inflammatory anti-police statements.

  6. 6. The cops are shit at handling guns.

    They have accidental discharges (recently one in a police station)

    They lose weapons (including leaving a Glock in the parliament toilets and leaving a rifle in the back of a squad car that Graeme Burton picked up)

    They shoot innocent bystanders by mistake

    • OMG Andrew did Graeme Burton really pick up a squad car ? Both hands ?

      In India, there are strong men who can balance cars on the ends of their penises – so they say.

      Who is Graeme Burton anyway ? Is he the chappie who wrote the recipe book with all the nice pictures and does good/bad restaurant reviews ?

      Any relation to the African explorer chappie, or does he just pop around exploring the wilds of suburban New Zealand where the cops shoot innocent bystanders by mistake and not on purpose ?

  7. The people that want police to be routinely armed are more than likely the same people that want longer jail sentences and/or capital punishment.
    I wonder how many police actually want to be routinely armed?

  8. Christine, I agree with Martyn’s views on police. My experiences with police have been OK. Not surprising when I’m white/pale with greying blonde hair and I’m old. I walk with a zimmer frame. I look harmless. I’m not a target of interest to police. I assume you might be the same Christine. But different people have different experiences.

    My oldest son, part-Samoan, and tertiary students I taught, Maori & Pasifika males, all have unpleasant encounters with police who are suspicious of them in quite ordinary circumstances (e.g.leaving a late lecture and walking from the university to the bus station in the dark, stopped every time and questioned by police). They are cynical about the police.

    When I see a cop car speeding past, sirens blasting, I worry about what might happen if they catch who they are chasing and the caught are ‘disrespectful’. Martyn is not inflammatory. The cops inflame situations by their actions.

    • Janio, I look harmless too, white with greying hair, and I’m pretty sure (like 99.9%) that I was lied to by a senior police officer – who was actually sent to shut me up about something else. I am cross with myself for not calling him out on it, but the issue wasn’t really big enough to follow up on. I think he did it because I annoyed him, and because I was not what he expected.

      People do get followed. A white Public Law lecturer – still there – told us of being stopped and questioned by the police leaving the VU campus late one night walking home to Wilton; they let him proceed, but when he reached home, he found that they’d followed him.Inflammatory ?
      He was more bemused, and interested.

      I have had two experiences of novice cops being obnoxious; one when I was stopped on some training excercise in Lower Hutt, I asked to him to chill out – and on my return trip I spoke to the supervising officer about it. Inflammatory ? No, just hacking off.

      I believe your saying that brown skinned people are more likely to be viewed as suspicious in various places, and that in the police this is being addressed by increasing ethnic diversity in their ranks.

      Two Samoan women colleagues, both mothers in their 40’s, complained about the police asking them to get up when they were lying on the ground drunk in Pigeon Park, saying, “It’s only because we’re Maori”.

      I think that they got it wrong, and that the police weren’t being discriminatory, they were being responsible, ethnicity irrelevant. Yep, the cops did inflame two women who didn’t have the wit to realise that being drunk in a public place is not a good idea, and not to be boasted about.

      I still know that our police force is good, and among the best in the world, and I’ve lived and worked overseas incl in Asia. The sort of police brutality incidents of American television programmes are very rare here, and the police are hard, and getting harder, on their own people when they do transgress – and you’d find more liars among politicians.

      It’s a thankless job and a hard often dangerous job, and their biggest critics are often people who couldn’t begin to do it themselves.

      The UK police force is currently at record low staffing levels; during the 1951 Lyttleton wharfees strike the army was called in to help the police and some of the dynamics played out were shocking. I wouldn’t like to see the same thing ever happen again in NZ – and that there is one Nat MP who wouldn’t be averse to it.

      I see no point in trying to whip up anti-police feeling, and suggesting that police punish people for being disrespectful is nuts – it happens to
      them every day – there’s a CDB busker who sings, “Fuck the cops.” He’s still alive, hasn’t been beaten up or anything, appears in television ads.

      • Fuck man we are only a small nation Asia is 20 thousands times the population and trying to conflate our law enforcers to asia is not only stupid on many levels but it damn well disingenuous when describing police fuckups in our western afluent democracy

        • The only country I’ve ever felt discomforted by armed police is in France; generally speaking one is not particularly aware of police carrying firearms, and the alarmist scenarios of NZ coppers bursting through front doors blazing away and killing granny and the pet budgie and splattering bloody feathers all over the imitation leather sofa and breaking cherished vases is yet another result of watching too much rubbish television.

          Dump your televisions and quite a few irrational fears will vanish. Easy as.

  9. Defiantly don’t arm police. We have a lot less violent crime than places where the police are armed like US. Not having guns make our police less gungho, and ultimately that stops things escalating. It also means that our criminals are less likely to be armed or use arms which makes the streets safer.

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