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Police injuries

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 04:32 PM

Police injuries cost $2 million
3:34 PM Thursday Apr 9, 2015

Nicholas Jones


Police officers suffered more than 1650 injuries in the past year at a cost of over $2 million.

New Zealand First obtained the information under the Official Information Act and says every front-line police officer should be issued with a Taser.

Police officers suffered from 1,656 injuries while on duty in 2013/14 at a cost of $2.1 million.

Costs of injuries include income compensation, medical treatment and other costs associated with rehabilitation and return to work.

"There's an element in society who view the Police as sport and when it comes to pursuits, know they can get away with it," said Ron Mark, NZ First's spokesman on police.

"There has been a definite shift in society that goes beyond drunks or those drugged up to eyeballs."

The Police Association had recorded 33 assaults on officers since February 1, Mr Mark said.

"New Zealand First's concerns are with frontline officers and that is why we want them to have all the tools they can."

The number of injuries have remained relatively steady since 1682 in 2009/10, and have fallen from 1999 in 2007/08.

While NZ First want more Tasers distributed to police, opponents, including the Greens, say their use is not justified, given the associated safety issues for those on the receiving end.

In March, a man died after he refused to leave his car and was Tasered and pepper-sprayed by police, as well as having a dog set on him.

Officers had tried to talk him out of the car, but he refused. When they finally removed him from the car he was struggling to breathe, and died at the scene.

Police say Tasers have the lowest injury rate of all tactical options open to police, and are effective in de-escalating violent situations, including those where firearms may have otherwise been used.

- NZ Herald

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