Friday, October 05, 2012

Doing it again

A few years ago, during a notorious armed offenders incident in Napier, the police called on the army for help and deployed LAVs onto the streets of a New Zealand city for law enforcement purposes. Today, there's an armed offenders incident down the road from me in Linton - and they're doing it again:

Mr Wehipeihana said it was not known whether the gun involved in the incident was a military or civilian weapon. It was unknown whether anyone else was in the house or whether anyone was injured.

Officials were set to evacuate other homes in the area.

Tanks [sic] were arriving at the scene. Mr Wehipeihana said public safety was paramount.

(By "tanks" the journalist presumably means LAVs - not a tank, but they kindof look like one)

Public safety may be paramount, but the use of the armed forces for law enforcement purposes can only happen with the approval of the Prime Minister or next most senior Minister. it will be very interesting to see whether that approval has been granted in this case, or whether the police and army are once again relying on the Napier interpretation to bypass the law. If they are doing the latter, then I think its something Parliament needs to look at.