Wed, 07 Jun 2023

WELLINGTON, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government is investing to support the safety of police and making communities safer with the roll-out of state-of-the-art tools and training to frontline staff, Police Minister Ginny Andersen said on Wednesday.

"Frontline staff face high-risk situations daily as they increasingly respond to sophisticated organized crime, gang-violence and the availability of illegal firearms," Andersen said.

Wednesday's launch of the Tactical Response Model will make it safer for police on the job by applying smart policing to anticipate dangerous and high-risk situations before they arise, she said.

"The model uses Police intelligence to risk-assess situations early, builds decision-making and critical thinking skills while under pressure and backs that with Offender Prevention Teams and two-person Tactical Dog Teams coming on board in each district," she added.

The country is on track to reach the target of 1,800 more officers on the ground by the end of June this year, with the Cabinet approval for a further 122.5 million NZ dollars (76.68 million U.S. dollars) to fully train and equip all frontline officers in these areas nationwide.

Police has been testing the model since November 2021 in four police districts.

Meanwhile, new legislation that will provide police with more tools to crack down on gang offending and further improve public safety was passed on Wednesday, said Justice Minister Kiri Allan.

The Criminal Activity Intervention Legislation Bill amends existing law to create new targeted warrants and additional search powers to find and seize weapons from gang members during a gang conflict.

The amendments also expand the range of offenses where police can seize and impound cars, motorbikes, and other vehicles; and add watches, jewelry, precious metals and stones, motor vehicles, and boats to a list of high-value goods prohibited for sale for cash over a specified value.

The new laws also target dangerous and intimidating driving, money laundering and the moving of large amounts of money to facilitate offending by gangs, Allan said.

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