Police officers in the Whanganui area drew tasers at incidents 31 times in 2017 but they were only discharged four times.
Every time a police officer uses force against an individual through tactical options, such as baton, pepper spray, empty hand tactics (physical force not involving weapons), taser and firearms, it is reported in a tactical options report (TOR). Multiple TOR events may occur at one incident. The reports are collected in a police database and made publicly available every year.
Superintendent Chris Scahill, National Manager Response and Operations, said 153 tactical options were used over 109 TOR events in the Whanganui area in 2017.
The statistics do not include taser and firearm shows by the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) and Special Tactics Group (STG) or the use of force on animals, Scahill said.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The tactical options figures obtained by the Whanganui Chronicle show pepper spray was the most used option with 39 reported events.
The figures include the use of handcuff/restraints (27), empty hand tactics (33), baton (3), dog (10), taser shows (31), taser discharges (4), firearm shows (5), firearm discharges (0) and other (1).
Scahill said 20 TOR events in the Whanganui area in 2017 resulted in injury to the subject while 13 events resulted in injury to police staff.
Whanganui AOS, which covers the whole Whanganui policing area, was deployed 37 times in 2017. Of these, 24 were pre-planned and 13 were emergency events.
Scahill said the TOR data was provisional but police were confident it was sufficiently accurate to monitor and describe the use of tactical options.