Armed Response Teams trial ends this weekend
On Sunday, the trial of Armed Response Teams will end.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says he has thanked the teams involved in the trial for their hard work.
“These teams were trialed to support Police’s frontline tactical capabilities.
"Everything we do, we do to keep New Zealanders safe and feeling safe.
“For Police, the trial was about having specialist Police personnel immediately ready to deploy to critical or high-risk incidents."
Andrew says this was to support frontline officers with any incidents that required enhanced tactical capabilities.
He says this was also part of recognising "we were, and still are, at a medium threat level".
"We know that some communities have had some concerns about the ARTs and how they were being deployed.
"Now the trial is over, an evaluation will be done and the views of the community taken into account as part of that.
"Our Evidence Based Policing Centre will undertake the evaluation."
This will include data collected during the trial, public perceptions data, and the views of Police teams involved, as well as other relevant interested parties.
"The evaluation will take place over the next two months and I look forward to the results in June.
"An evaluation will only be one aspect of the review into ARTs.
"We will also consult with community groups and talk to our people and the teams involved with the ARTs.
"We recognise that the ultimate question of the style of policing we adopt in this country cannot be answered by an evaluation.
"Instead it needs to reflect a wider conversation with our communities.
"Any options that come out of the review will be consulted with communities as part of our efforts to take a collaborative approach to policing.
"How the public feels is important as we police with consent of the public, and that is a privilege."