Top cop does not see armed police as NZ's future

Source: 1News

The Police Commissioner does not see the routine arming of police as an inevitability after the Christchurch terrorist attack. 

"Quite firmly, I do not. I hope we never go there. What I, as commissioner, have to consider every day is the safety of the public, the safety of New Zealand police officers," Mike Bush said. 

The terrorist attack on March 15 saw armed police officers present across the country. 

"We will, and have returned to routine, un-armed police service," Mr Bush said. "But our staff have immediate access to any tactical options they require."

On TVNZ1's Q+A, Mr Bush said his personal view on arming police was "we've got it absolutely right".

He said public and police were split on their view of armed police, but said the majority would prefer an un-armed police service. 

He was also asked about the lowering of New Zealand's national terrorism threat, which was set at high after the attack, and is currently at medium. 

"We have a combined threat assessment group that look at this almost daily, one of the reasons we are still at medium is because we're still only six weeks after the event. 

"We take into consideration the wider context and even the international context."

He said he was "sure" the threat level would be lowered, "it's just a matter of time". 

"We're working towards ensuring we're back in that state that we were prior to March 15."

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"We've got to protect every group, every sector of New Zealand society."