Collins concerned by violence against Police

Scott Yeoman,
Publish Date
Thursday, 10 March 2016, 8:17AM
Minister of Police Judith Collins, said she was happy with how police were handling the siege (NZ Herald)

Minister of Police Judith Collins, talking to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking, said she was happy with how police were handling the siege.

"I have full confidence in the police. I was up at police national headquarters yesterday just for a short time and they were clearly in what I call police mode -- absolutely operational mode. They're highly competent people and I have no concern with the way that they're handling things."

MORE: Siege ends, shooter in custody

Ms Collins said this incident was a reminder of just how dangerous it is to be a police officer.

"It's one of the most dangerous jobs that there is when you consider the number of police officers who are shot, stabbed, run over -- all those sorts of things and it's just a really dangerous occupation and I think they do it really well."

When asked if there were now more guns being used in New Zealand and police being shot at, Ms Collins said she wondered if there was.

"Guns are clearly in the hands of the wrong people and I doubt any of the people that have been shooting at police in the last few years have got licences or anything like that. They're in the hands of criminals and I think it is a concern."

She was asked about the role of drugs in these types of incidents and if they were generally linked to weaponry and danger.

"Clearly there's -- from the reports anyway -- drugs involved in this. I'm not going to speculate, really, about any gangs or anything like that. But I'd say, clearly, there are [guns] in the hands of gang members, they're in the hands of people who are extremely dangerous people even without guns."

Collins said police are following standard procedure, which is to insert a cordon around these areas and to contain. She said this was the "smartest" thing to do.

"If you go charging in, someone -- as in a police officer -- is more likely to be hurt than not ... "

Police Commissioner Mike Bush this morning told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the situation remained unchanged overnight in the Bay of Plenty -- "status quo".

"The person we're encouraging to come out of the house has not yet come out. We have a large team on the ground and we're hoping he'll come out but we really do want to bring this to a very peaceful conclusion."

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