Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Police justified in use of sponge rounds on high-risk offender

NZ Police has acknowledged an Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report, which found an Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) officer was justified in firing two sponge rounds while arresting a high-risk offender in Invercargill.

The incident occurred in July 2022 when the AOS went to the man’s property to arrest him after officers had intercepted a package containing Class A drugs.

When Police arrived, the offender fled on foot and, when located by Police, failed to show his hands and comply with instructions. The officers believed the man was breaking and loading a shotgun and subsequently he was shot twice in the back with sponge rounds.

Relieving Southern District Commander acting Superintendent Shona Low said the officers involved in the incident responded appropriately to the situation as they saw it unfolding and the IPCA investigation and findings support this.

“Our AOS staff attending this incident were incredibly professional dealing with a high-risk offender with a history of firearms convictions.”

“The officers involved acted quickly to prevent any risk to themselves and their colleagues and to ensure a safe arrest,” he said.

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