Wednesday, 7 June 2006

Taser protection

There are two sides to the introduction of Tasers. Here's one:
  • Their abuse by police departments overseas, NZ's somewhat thuggish police culture -- which has become so evident in traffic policing and through recent court hearings -- and the many, many laws on the books that are an affront to personal liberty suggest that no matter what internals police guidelines are established for their use, tasers used by the NZ police are going to be used against some people that have committed no real crime, and some of them will be used when and how they shouldn't.
The first point makes the introduction of Tasers urgent. The second point makes it important that their introduction is done right, with proper checks and balances and not just fine words. A promise from police Superintendent John Rivers "that there will be no relaxation over time, Tasers will only ever be used as an absolute last resort," is just not enough. You can imagine for yourself how much restraint such fine words would exercise on Clint Rickards and his colleagues.

If Tasers are to be introduced, proper legal checks and balance must be introduced to effect firm, entrenched, systematic and transparent restraint. Victimless crime laws must be repealed so innocent people are not 'Tased.' And as I argued here a short while ago, police systems need to urgently change to fix what most of us already know: that all is not well with the force. Trevor's ten points for fixing police systems would be something else to get on with quick-smart.

If the introduction of Tasers is urgent, as I believe it is, then all this needs to happen with speed. And here's one further point:
LINKS: Stun guns worry experts - TVNZ
It's an unfair cop - Not PC (Peter Cresswell)
How to save our police force - New Zeal (Trevor Loudon)
Police Tasers: Good for them, good for us - Not PC (August, 2005)

TAGS: Politics-NZ, Law, Victimless_Crimes, Self-Defence


  1. If memory serves me rightly, those tasers spew out lots of adhesive microdots with the tazer serial number on it- useful for tracking who shot who.

    They also keep a record of when they are discharged.

    Quite dandy features really, especially if they can't be overridden. Would make accountability easier to track.

    *May be completely wrong

  2. In a sane world, police would be forbidden to use guns, etc., but the general public would not. If the police need them to subdue a criminal, they can get some passers-by to help out.


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