14 Oct 2012

Pepper spray call rejected

2:23 pm on 14 October 2012

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley has rejected a call for prison officers to be routinely armed with pepper spray.

Corrections Association president Beven Hanlon made the call following an attack on a woman officer who tried to separate two female inmates who were fighting at Arohata Women's Prison on Friday.

Mrs Tolley said on Sunday she supports using pepper spray as a deterrent in some circumstances.

But she said that having it available on officers' belts would be a step too far and could increase the danger to staff if an officer was overpowered and the spray taken.