Not good enough

If you had left a loaded firearm in a public place, would you deal with it immediately?

A police officer should have acted differently after realising he’d left a loaded Glock pistol in a bathroom in Parliament, an investigation has concluded.

The gun was left in a bathroom accessible by the public for well over an hour.

Free guided tours run daily on the hour at Parliament, and schools often visit.

The Diplomatic Protection Service officer was on his way to Wellington Airport on work duties when he realised he had left the gun behind on June 16 last year.

Police have concluded their investigation into the mistake and Assistant Commissioner Mike Rusbatch said it should have been dealt with differently.

“We are in no doubt about the potential risk. Our staff are human and we accept that the firearm being left in the bathroom was a genuine mistake,” Rusbatch said.

“However, the loss should have been dealt with differently once it was discovered to minimise the risk to the public.”

Police said when the officer realised his mistake, he immediately asked a colleague travelling with him to return to Parliament to recover the gun.

What he should immediately have done is call it in and have someone closer deal with it.  But I suspect he was hoping to retrieve it quietly as to not jeopardise his job.  

This second officer arrived at the bathroom only a few moments after the firearm was discovered by a member of the public, police said. The officer retrieved the firearm an hour and 25 minutes after the officer had realised it had been left behind.

The subsequent police investigation was partially focused on the steps taken to secure the firearm once its loss had been discovered.

The investigation accepted there was no intention to leave the firearm in the bathroom, but also looked at the options available to recover the firearm at the time.

Police would not reveal the outcome of an employment process with the officers, but said both continued to work in Protection Services.

Rusbatch said “lessons have been learned” after the unprecedented incident.

It’s never the original offence that gets you, it’s the attempted coverup.

That DPS cops showed two lots of poor judgement.  First by leaving it there, next by not choosing the most efficient method to ensure the loaded weapon was secured.

They should consider themselves lucky to still have a job.

Had that been you or I, we would have lost our firearms licences.  Or much worse.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.