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Police Headquarters

Minister for Police

Hon Poto Williams

Talking points

Here are some reasons we're concerned about this proposal.

Police data shows they don't need more guns.

As a proportion of all events in which the police have used force, the number meeting the threshold for the use of firearms increased only 6.5% from 2010-2020.

Armed officers are more likely to use their firearms as a first option than a last resort.

Even the police's own estimates show that an additional 92 people would've been shot and 43 people killed over the last 10 years if firearms had been present at every event meeting the threshold for their use.

This is especially dangerous for Māori, Pasifika and mentally ill people.

Māori already suffer violent responses from police at a rate more than seven times that of Pākehā, and are nearly nine times as likely to have a TASER used on them. Mental health events are already more likely to involve police using firearms, with these events also more likely to involve a fatality. More police with "tactical" training will mean more Māori people will be shot, and more people with mental illness will be shot.

Police intend to use racist "technology solutions" to help them decide when to deploy armed officers.

Risk assessment algorithms are biased by the overrepresentation of Māori in police databases. Facial recognition software generates more false positives for non-white groups, and the software is not designed to work on people with tā moko or moko kauae. Decisions informed by this kind of software will be racist.

Police do not seem to have considered the impact of the Tactical Response Model on their obligations under Te Tiriti.

The Crown has a duty to consider Te Tiriti in all its functions, especially when the impact is likely to be so significant. The Tactical Response Model does not in any way represent a partnership with Māori.

Police are not engaging in genuine consultation.

The "consultation" period into the Tactical Response Model lasts only four weeks and very little detail has been provided about the plan. Individuals, communities and organisations that want to provide feedback do not have time to gather the information they need, or to get input from the people they represent. Genuine consultation is key to any police force committed to policing by consent, but Police seem intent on pushing this through regardless of any opposition.

Police must always focus on non-violent solutions.

Police should always focus on deescalation, negotiation and other methods of resolving conflict without the use of force or violence. The goal of any police training should be to reduce and ultimately to broadly disarm police in Aotearoa, which is a necessary step in providing communities and at-risk individuals with the confidence and trust to call on support services when they feel it is needed.