Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007
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Clark waiting for police decision on tasers

NZPA | Monday, 17 December 2007
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Prime Minister Helen Clark has rejected a call that the Government, rather than police, make the decision whether police should be armed with stun guns.

Police Commissioner Howard Broad is considering results of a 12-month Taser stun gun trial around New Zealand which ended in August.

This afternoon Green MP Keith Locke released a statement saying he wrote to Miss Clark asking the Government to make the decision.

Mr Locke said the stun guns were dangerous and sometimes lethal weapons and the United Nations had said using them was a form of torture.

The Police Association is a staunch supporter of using stun guns but Mr Locke said their introduction should not be made by police alone.

"This is not an operational matter, akin to what sort of cars they should drive or the look of their uniforms, and the Government cannot stand aside."

Miss Clark said she would wait and see what police decided.

"I think I will wait for the police to come up with their review of it. The Government agreed to the police having a trial, the police are still evaluating that, I think it is a proper process and we should see its course."

Once the decision was made the Government may have a role.

If a law change was required it would need to go to Cabinet.

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