7 Jun 2019

693 firearms seized by police since March

8:46 am on 7 June 2019

A new system, Gun Safe, that records incidents and details when police encounter firearms, is off to a good start, three months since its nationwide rollout.

Firearms that will remain legal, depending on number of rounds and magazine type, on display at the police press conference.

Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey

Since March, there have been 629 firearm incidents nationwide, which have resulted in 693 firearms seized by police.

"While we are in the very early stages, with three months' worth of information collected from across the country, we are building the picture we need," deputy commissioner Michael Clement said.

"Staff are feeding into a central system to help tell the story behind each firearm they encounter in their communities.

"This is about safety; the safety of our police officers and the people in our communities.

"We want to know more about the misuse of firearms in our communities."

The programme was initially trialled across Tāmaki Makaurau in late 2018 to ensure it was something every district could easily use.

Nationwide rollout then began gradually from December 2018, with every district being on board by March 2019.

The new system helps log all firearm encounters and seizures by police in one place - including firearm details, information on the type of event around the firearms misuse, the location it occurred, more of the narrative from the officers involved.

"We already have firearms data, what we are doing is deepening the information we have around firearms encounters so we can have a better appreciation of what our staff face every day," Mr Clement said.

"The evidence base we develop over time will tell us more about the environment our staff work in.

"This will ensure, to the extent we can, that decisions are made in the best interests of keeping our staff and communities safe."

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