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A young constable who nearly bled to death from gunshot wounds to the leg says "it's time for serious action" against criminals.
More than seven months have passed since Jeremy Snow, 29, lay in a pool of his own blood in a South Auckland gutter, his femoral artery ruptured.
But hearing about the serious wounding of two officers and death of a police dog in Christchurch yesterday brought it back.
"I know what it's like, you know, a scary situation, I don't wish it on anyone. I just think it's time for some serious action against these criminals," he told the Herald.
Mr Snow would not elaborate on what "serious action" meant, as it was just his opinion and not that of the New Zealand Police.
But yesterday Police Minister Judith Collins and Commissioner Howard Broad said a new policy relaxing rules around the issuing of firearms would be pushed through by Christmas.
The man accused of shooting Mr Snow - 28-year-old Neshanderan Rajgopaul - has been committed for trial next year. It is alleged he was protecting an illegal cache of guns and a stolen car when he opened fire.
Mr Snow is back at work four days a week, juggling duties with a strenuous rehabilitation regime.
He hoped to be back on the beat this year, but is biding his time working as a scene of crime officer at Manukau Police Station.
And although he enjoyed finger-printing burglary scenes and stolen cars - and the one cannabis operation he was involved in - Mr Snow was itching to return to the frontline.
"I've always hated seeing people being taken advantage of and any sort of injustice," he said. "I just don't like it, I fight for the underdog I guess."
Mr Snow said he visited the scene of the shooting for an investigation re-enactment and had driven past the street several times with no trouble.
"For me I'm keen to get back [frontline] ... I guess I'm mentally ready. I don't know what's going to happen when I get back but I don't think it's going to affect me too much."
It was three days before Christmas, about 4am, when Mr Snow and Constable Robert Cato walked into a volley of gunfire while checking a suspicious car on a patrol of Papatoetoe.
Doctors said he was lucky to survive and yesterday Canterbury's district commander said the same of his men. An emotional Superintendent Dave Cliff praised the courage of the 51-year-old dog handler and 39-year-old constable who he said came close to dying after the Phillipstown shooting.
Mr Snow had not heard full details about what happened but planned to watch the news with interest and sent his best wishes to the injured officers.
He said his partner, Mr Cato, was back on the beat.
* 21 shot dead on duty.
In past 2 years:
* 7 officers shot and injured.
* 2 shot dead.
Sept 2008: Auckland Sergeant Don Wilkinson, on covert operation.
May 2009: Napier Senior Constable Len Snee, on drug warrant for Jan Molenaar.
(Figures from Police National Headquarters - do not include officers shot at.)