I agree with Keith Locke, take the tasers off the cops…

It is a new year and so I suppose we didn’t have to wait long for Keith Locke to have a bleat about Police and their use of Tasers.

Police have revealed they fired a Taser stun-gun at an offender five times – the latest incident that has Taser critics calling for a review of its use.

The case is contained in statistics released by police about Taser use in the first half of last year.

A police spokesman said the incident involved a violent offender resisting arrest and fighting with an officer in the Counties-Manukau district with the Taser being pressed directly against the body of the suspect in “contact stun” mode.

“While the Taser was discharged [in contact stun mode] five times, three made contact with the person,” the spokesman said.

“Of the three which made contact, the first two were not effective in bringing the person under control, while the third was effective in stopping the violent behaviour.”

Police said two of the discharges missed the offender as he grappled with the officer on the ground.

The suspect was not injured, but a critic says increased use, and two recent Taser-related deaths overseas, suggest the device will kill someone here.

This week 38-year-old Kevin Norris died after being Tasered by police in the New South Wales town of Mittagong.

According to reports, Norris was conscious when taken into custody but died at the police station. His death is now the subject of an investigation.

Former Green MP Keith Locke, who has been a critic of the Taser since it was introduced in 2007, said the death should send a message.   

“The death across the Tasman should shake police out of their complacency,” he said.

“Even though we haven’t had a death here yet, the deaths in Australia, Britain, Canada and the US indicate it is likely at some time there will be a death here.”

The Norris case follows the death in Britain of a burglar in similar circumstances shortly before Christmas.

After being Tasered, the victim became unresponsive in a police car and died.

It was the third case of someone dying after being Tasered in Britain in 2014.

British Government figures show police use of the Taser increased by 13 per cent in the same period.

Home Secretary Theresa May ordered a review into Taser use by police in October, and there are calls for a ban in the meantime.

Locke said: “It would be good for the Independent Police Conduct Authority [IPCA] to have a thorough review of the police use of Tasers to see whether they are being overused, or inappropriately used – such as to help the police get handcuffs on rather than in really dangerous situations.”

Police statistics showed one person was being Tasered every three days, he said.

“In 16 events the Taser was discharged twice on the person and in three events discharged three times.”

I agree with Keith Locke, take the tasers off the cops.

But replace them with Glocks instead. Nothing stops criminals like a series of 9mm holes in them…far more effective deterrent than some sharp spikes with an electric current.

There fixed the problem for you Keith, no more Tasers.


– Fairfax


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  • Yeahright

    Actually works the other way around, general disturbance they know they will not get shot so don’t care, have a taser, then they are your best friend…………

  • kiwihornplayer

    The Taser was always meant to be “the gun you had when you didn’t have a gun”.
    I agree that the Glock is a great safe option. Safe for the Cop and safe for general law-abiding public.
    80% fatal for the low-life begging for a fight.
    Bring it on!

  • Grizz30

    The elephant in the article is that the tasers were all used on criminals. I am grateful these tools exist to keep us, including Keith Locke, safe

    • mommadog

      One of my two regrets when I lived in the sates was not getting a handgun and learning how to shoot it. For no other reason than you can legally without the hassle you go through here and its not a bad skill for a girl to have.

      • mark14

        well I managed…

  • tinfoilhatguy

    Couldn’t agree more. Way too many front-line cops are getting assaulted these days. What’s the deterrent for a recidivist crim from taking at a swing a cop? Taser good, handgun better. Although I know not all cops want to carry a handgun, it raises the stakes all round.

    I love my Glock. It’s awesome stress relief on a Sunday afternoon.

  • This man is such an idiot. Violence and criminal behaviour are always voluntary activities – no-one forces people to be violent or to engage in anti-social behaviour. So if they are acting like idiots then we have very few choices. Try to man handle them and risk being injured oneself, taser them or use a Glock. People like Locke just haven’t got what it takes. Confronted with a violent and dangerous thug I presume he will offer to sit down and have tea with them. If someone is being dangerous then they choose to be restrained and frankly a non-lethal approach such as a taser is as good as anything. In the rare event someone dies from being hit with a teaser, so be it. Once they choose violence then they put themselves in harm’s way. Tough.

    • Raibert

      Agree completely, follow instructions from Police who are after all there to protect the public and you don’t get tasered. People like Locke quickly change their opinions when they become a victim of violence.
      The Police need an effective way to handle violent criminals and the taser is a non lethal alternative to firearms. It seems that some people forget that the Police also need to protect themselves from these criminals and if these people would put themselves in the position of upholding the law they to would want protection. These comments by Locke are political posturing and mean nothing.

    • mommadog

      Agree with all you say but must just acknowledge that for those with mental illness their strange and sometimes violent behaviour toward themselves or others isn’t voluntary at the time it occurs. It may have been voluntary to go off their medications but many (not just patients with mental illness) do that thinking because the medication works they are cured rather than only being in a holding pattern. Then low and behold the problem comes back. Police get called to deal with this as well and I would have thought that Tasers are ideal as they are not lethal except for the rare exception.

      • Dave_1924

        And mommadog that is why the Liveral Release into the COmmunity policy is such a crock of the probverbial. We all know there are certain individuals who for their own safety and more importantly the safe of the community at large should not be being treated outsiide of secure facilities.

        I really think we need to re-address the secure hosuing of violent mentally ill people for everyoines benefit. Of course that would require ensuring no of the old abuses at Kingseat and Lake Ellice ever happened again, but the great good of the public being properly protected form erratic, ill people should hold sway

      • Always an exception to the rule. Mostly though violence and aggression are not features of mental illness as the more serious the illness the more withdrawn a person becomes. In a situation where someone with a mental illness is acting out then the taser is a safe option. Sadly though this is an imponderable as probably any approach can be wrong in the eyes of people like Locke

  • James M

    Here is a short list of things that are more likely to kill than a taser.

    A fist.
    A foot.

    Perhaps we should remove these from officers too

    • Emjay

      Don’t forget about those cars as well….

  • Dave_1924

    Taser = intermeditary step between letting criminal run wild because copper in attendance cant subdue them adn going to the safety locker in the boot and drawing out then discharging the firearm.

    Locke needs to remember he isn’t there when some p addled or totally pysched up nutter is running wild.

    Confronting someone going beserk is not pleasant from my second hand view point – not something I would like to have to handle professionally.

    Maybe Mr Locke needs to start living in the middle of the worst South Auckland suburbs, or down around Parenga Crescent in Wainuiomata or one of those unpleasant backstreets of Waitangaru/Taita/Naenae and deal with the carnage on a Friday and Saturday night. Pretty sure he would get played like the liberal, wishy washy twerp he is or worse get a dealing too

  • Caprice

    I wonder how many violent situations have been avoided altogether because the thought of a few thousand volts coursing thru the old body lacks appeal. I hate getting a belt off the electric fence, my hands would be in the air real quick if the constabulary pointed a taser at me..
    Note to CIA. I would spill the beans super quick too, if an alligator clip was waved near the nether regions. Sing like a canary.

  • digby

    You never hear anything from fools like Locke about the police officers rights not to be hurt, maimed or even killed whilst protecting the general public. We ask these brave people to take on the risk of having to deal with often very violent and unpredictable people and then hamstring them. If someone choses to break the law then they should accept that they will run the risk, albeit small, that if they get tasered they could die. Sure, there will be instances where a cop is guilty of overuse but they are only human and generally are dealt with when it occurs. The risk of death to the criminal is easily outweighed by the risk of harm or injury to a police officer. A dead cop is worth at least 1,000,000 tasered criminals.

    • I think you will find that 90% plus of those tasered are actually suspects and thus need to be treated as such.
      If they get violent they should be tasered, but if they are just uncooperative then no tasers thanks.

  • maybe Keith should spend a week out with the police at night in the real world where he could attempt to stop a violent criminal using his mighty worlds of wisdom

  • Rick H

    What is that stupid Locke still doing here?
    Surely he would be over in Syria being a “human shield” for the ISIS guys.
    To make up for the time he was unable to do the same for Saddam.

  • Geoff

    Clocks are for girls, give them a .500 S&W Magnum.

  • metalnwood

    ‘Former Green MP Keith Locke, who has been a critic of the Taser since it was introduced in 2007, said the death should send a message. ‘

    Darn right, the death should send a message – to the criminals.

  • Rex

    What ever someone like Locke says a normal person should just take the opposite view. The guys a ……..! He does not give a continental about the welfare of the Cops or NZ citizens as long as the crims are OK. What is this guy even reported? His thoughts mean NOTHING to the general population. Only the loony Greens listen to him!

  • peterwn

    The Glock should also be banned, they cause deaths. ‘Re-thinking Crime and Punishment’ calls for a new approach. The person causing the bother has had a hard childhood, his girlfriend has left him, blah blah. Just needs a suitable person to have a friendly chat and problem solved. Any volunteers, Keith?

  • Macca

    What is it with the left and their hatred of the Police or any form of authority?

    On one hand they bleat about the cops and the ‘totalitarian state’ and yet in the next breath are pushing hard left policies trying to take us down the path of socialism/communism – I just don’t get it!

    Interesting too how we never heard a peep from this clown and all the other lefty weirdos regarding the Muslim atrocity in France! Of course if it was Israel defending itself against Palastinian terrorists you couldn’t shut them up. Oxygen thief’s the lot of them!

  • Steve (North Shore)

    The Police do not Taser or shoot me, they never will. Why is that?
    I am not scared of Police but I will not get in a situation where they would even think of doing this to me. So why are others getting tasered or shot? They must think they can steal, rape, pilage, murder, assault as they please.
    No, they can’t, so they get tasered or shot, end of story – back into the woodwork Keith Locke

  • Toasty

    I feel sorry for the guy whose being tasered every three days…..

    • Mikex

      It’s absolutely shocking…..

  • dgrogan

    Wouldn’t a suspect wrestling with the arresting officer on the ground, be in a “really dangerous situation”, Locke? Not that you’d be confronted with such a danger, as I’ve no doubt you’d be running down the road screaming for help.

  • Chris EM

    I had to google Keith Locke; Green Taliban, what a surprise. I suppose he’s filling in for Norman, since his pathetic comments are few and far between at the moment.

    • Richard Palmer

      He’s been useless for a long time

  • I posted this over at the Kiwi “Travel” Blog. (no problem with the cops getting glocks….as long as they spend plenty of time on the range learning to handle the things properly)

    I think that Police should also carry Tippman TiPX paintball markers with Pepper balls. (have tested said pepper balls when I used to marshal at a range in South Africa)

    blurb on the pepperball
    “The RAP4 Peppershot™ PAVA Less Lethal Live Rounds are delivered on-target by a high pressure system with enough kinetic force to get the suspect’s attention, unleashing a cloud of Capsaicin II powder into the face (eyes, nose and throat) of the aggressor. The irritant incapacitates them by powerfully stinging their eyes, causing non-fatal breathing difficulties, and creating other extreme but temporary discomfort.

    The RAP4 Peppershot™ PAVA Less Lethal System offers effective tools for achieving suspect compliance. Because the projectiles break upon impact, they do not penetrate skin or pose ricochet hazards, making the RAP4 Peppershot™ PAVA Less Lethal System ideal for defense even at contact range. As they burst on impact and fill the vicinity with the irritant powder, officers using the RAP4 Peppershot™ PAVA Less Lethal System often don’t have to hit their target to subdue the suspect. Rather, by shooting a hard surface in the suspect’s vicinity, the suspect will be overwhelmed by a cloud of irritation powder.”

  • armotur

    Give front line Police (the real ones, not the IRD Transport division) whatever they need to deal with Criminals. Train them well, and let them get on with it. But please don’t give anything beyond a very small water pistol to the foolish people that designed and implemented the 2014-2015 Summer Traffic safety campaign. That would be very dangerous for the NZ Public!

  • Curly1952

    As a cop once told me – “what people forget is that our whole career is spent dealing with the dregs of society”.
    I say give the cops any weapon they require to ensue the bad guys are punished.
    The tougher they are on the dregs the more respect they will garner. On the other hand they lose respect for their attitude on “speeding” drivers
    Dig it in coppers – go after the real crims with everything you have got!

  • Canucktoo

    Keith – crawl back under the rock from whence you came.

  • taurangaruru

    A caring loving cuddle has been shown to be much more effective when attempting to control a violent drug & drink fuelled violent offender hasn’t it Keith.

  • TSD

    I’m reasonably sure that most who post here have miraculously avoided the dreadful scourge of the terrible police taser… It is after all not difficult to avoid, you just don’t do things that necessitate it. The police on the other hand, have a tool that allows them to remove an overtly violent threat without the use of lethal force, which you would think the greens would be grateful for…

    Yet I’m confused. Do the Greens want to enshrine violence as a right of the criminal? Do they wish the police to pay massively for their dedication to protecting us all? Would they condemn a policeman who is in a position they will never ever (ever, ever, ever for clarification) be in who shoots a man swinging a hammer at someone and wonder why the poor hammer wielding attacker was shot?

    Oh. Sorry. Yes. Of course they would.

    The only appropriate action in such situatons is a heartfelt thanks to those who serve us and (unfortunately as it’s not nice) scorn for the despicable ungreen, unthinking, unpeaceful, but totally communal… party that calls itself the greens (non captilised by choice)

  • benniedawg

    Keith Locke is of the intelligence league that believes that the poo should be removed from shampoo so that it doesn’t further pollute our waterways. The guy has always been an idiot and always will be. Obviously trying to keep the deluded thinking of his dear mother to the fore.

  • Rusty B

    Keith Locke is the problem. Never uttered one decent alternative for anything.