Accidental Weapon Discharges

Mark Hanna made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

The request was successful.

From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koutou,

Today, the New Zealand Herald reported that the numbers of accidental weapon discharges have been released by the New Zealand Police under the Official Information Act[1].

The article describes aggregate data from 1 July 2010 to 31 October 2016, stating that there were 12 accidental firearm discharges and 504 accidental taser discharges in this time. The article also breaks down these discharges into those occurring in operational and non-operational settings.

Police Association president Chris Cahill is also quoted as saying "You'd think that number [of accidental taser discharges] should be decreasing over time". Unfortunately, as the data has been provided in aggregate, it cannot be used to evaluate any trend.

1. Please provide a month by month breakdown, from July 2010 to October 2016, of the number of accidental weapon discharges by the New Zealand Police, categorising those accidental weapon discharges by whether they were in operational or non-operational settings.

2. For each of these months, please also provide the number of times firearms were deployed and the number of times tasers were presented. I intend to use this as a denominator to better understand the context of the number of accidental discharges in operational settings, and would be happy to consult on this part of my request if you believe different information would better suit that purpose.

As the information on accidental discharges has recently been released, I trust it will not take long to release it in a slightly different format in response to part 1 of my request. If the addition of part 2 of my request would delay the release of part 1, please release part 1 as soon as reasonable practicable before working on part 2.

Nāku, nā
Mark Hanna

[1] http://www.nzherald.co.nz/new-zealand/ne...

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New Zealand Police

'Do not reply to this message, this email message has been sent from an
un-monitored email address'
 
Thank you for your email.
 
I have forwards this email onto the ministry services to complete your
request.
Official information acts can take on average 3 weeks to receive.
 
Please email us again at [1][New Zealand Police request email] if we can help you
any further.
 
Regards
 
New Zealand Police
 
'Do not reply to this message, this email message has been sent from an
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-----Mark Hanna <[FYI request #5370 email]> wrote:
-----
To: OIA/LGOIMA requests at New Zealand Police <[New Zealand Police request email]>
From: Mark Hanna <[FYI request #5370 email]>
Date: 12/02/2017 11:52AM
Subject: Official Information request - Accidental Weapon Discharges

Tēnā koutou,
Today, the New Zealand Herald reported that the numbers of accidental
weapon discharges have been released by the New Zealand Police under the
Official Information Act[1].
The article describes aggregate data from 1 July 2010 to 31 October 2016,
stating that there were 12 accidental firearm discharges and 504
accidental taser discharges in this time. The article also breaks down
these discharges into those occurring in operational and non-operational
settings.
Police Association president Chris Cahill is also quoted as saying "You'd
think that number [of accidental taser discharges] should be decreasing
over time". Unfortunately, as the data has been provided in aggregate, it
cannot be used to evaluate any trend.
1. Please provide a month by month breakdown, from July 2010 to October
2016, of the number of accidental weapon discharges by the New Zealand
Police, categorising those accidental weapon discharges by whether they
were in operational or non-operational settings.
2. For each of these months, please also provide the number of times
firearms were deployed and the number of times tasers were presented. I
intend to use this as a denominator to better understand the context of
the number of accidental discharges in operational settings, and would be
happy to consult on this part of my request if you believe different
information would better suit that purpose.
As the information on accidental discharges has recently been released, I
trust it will not take long to release it in a slightly different format
in response to part 1 of my request. If the addition of part 2 of my
request would delay the release of part 1, please release part 1 as soon
as reasonable practicable before working on part 2.
Nāku, nā
Mark Hanna
[1]
[2]http://www.nzherald.co.nz/new-zealand/ne...
-------------------------------------------------------------------
This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FYI request #5370 email]
Is [New Zealand Police request email] the wrong address for Official Information
requests to New Zealand Police? If so, please contact us using this form:
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Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
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If you find this service useful as an Official Information officer, please
ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's OIA or LGOIMA
page.

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From: SEDGWICK, Alexandria
New Zealand Police


Attachment image001.jpg
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Tēnā koutou Mr Hanna

 

On behalf of the Commissioner, I acknowledge your request of 12 February
2017. You asked for:

 

1.     Please provide a month by month breakdown, from July 2010 to
October 2016, of the number of accidental weapon discharges by the New
Zealand Police, categorising those accidental weapon discharges by whether
they were in operational or non-operational settings.

 

2.     For each of these months, please also provide the number of times
firearms were deployed and the number of times tasers were presented. I
intend to use this as a denominator to better understand the context of
the number of accidental discharges in operational settings, and would be
happy to consult on this part of my request if you believe different
information would better suit that purpose.

 

Your request is being actioned and you will be responded to in accordance
with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982.

 

Nāku, nā

 

 

[1]http://nzpintranet/resources/Secure%20Im... Ali Sedgwick
Ministerial Services Advisor |
Ministerial Services | New Zealand
Police
E:
 [2][email address
Police National Headquarters, 180
Molesworth Street, Thorndon, PO Box
3017, Wellington 6011
[3]www.police.govt.nz

 

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
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From: SEAGER, Nicola
New Zealand Police


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Mr Hanna

 

I am writing to you in regard to the request for information made via the
fyi-request website where you requested the following information.

 

“1. Please provide a month by month breakdown, from July 2010 to October
2016, of the number of accidental weapon discharges by the New Zealand
Police, categorising those accidental weapon discharges by whether they
were in operational or non-operational settings.

2. For each of these months, please also provide the number of times
firearms were deployed and the number of times tasers were presented.”

 

We have compiled some of this data which is ready to go through our review
process, however some of the data will not be able to be provided in the
current timeframe.

 

I am sending this email to ask for further clarification of your request
based on the fact that we will not be able to provide it fully within the
timeframe.

So, based on this information:

 

·         For the first part of the request, we can provide the requested
UD figures

·         For the second part, we can provide the number of times firearms
and tasers were used or presented, however this will exclude events which
resulted in a fatality and AOS squad deployments.

o   We can provide information AOS information, however the AOS database,
records events at the squad  deployment level – which can include multiple
squads, therefore it would not be consistent with the other figures
provide (which are at an individual level), it would also include some
(but not all) event reported in the TOR database. As such it would not be
suitable to use as the denominator which you are is after.

o   We could also include information the number of TASER and firearm
events which were associated with a fatality, however this information
would require an extension to the current time frame (due to consultation
required and searching large amount of information), and currently we are
not able to provide an estimate on how long that extension would be. As
this figure would just relate to the denominator, and due to the
relatively low numbers  - he may be fine without that data.

 

So essentially, you have 2 (or 3) options:

o Option A: All UD event plus most of the events for firearms or TASER.
We should be able to provide this within the existing timeframe. Will
undercount the number of times Taser and firearms are used or
presented, and thus provide an overestimate UD to use ratio
o Option B: All UD event plus most of the events for firearms or TASER
(including fatalities). Which will provide a slightly more accurate to
use ratio, but will require an extension to the current time frame.
o Option C: Option A or B plus AOS deployment data.  However the AOS
data will not be consistent with TOR data and would not be suitable to
use as part of the denominator like you described.

 

If you can please respond to me as soon as possible I will be able to
progress you request without further delay,

 

 

 

Niki Seager

Business Support Analyst: Response and Operations

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D259FD.1B337200

 

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora Niki,

Thanks for your response, it's really helpful for me to be able to discuss my options like this so please know that I appreciate it.

Also please accept my apologies for not responding earlier. Unfortunately I've been made aware that the FYI website, which I've used to make this request, has had an issue with processing incoming mail that meant I was not made aware of your message from yesterday until today.

Option A sounds like the best compromise to me, so let's go with that. Though I'm still interested in getting as precise data as possible, so I have a couple of other questions on how this request could proceed.

I understand the difficulty with Armed Offenders Squad data being in a different format that wouldn't be suitable for use as part of the denominator I'm looking for. In light of that, I agree it seems sensible to exclude that part of the data.

However, this leaves me wondering how many of the unintentional discharge events may have come from the AOS. Is it possible for this portion of the UD data to be separated out?

Regarding events that resulted in a fatality, thank you for raising this with me as something likely to require an extension of the deadline. Would it be possible for the data excluding events that resulted in a fatality to be provided as soon as reasonably practicable, hopefully still without requiring an extension of the deadline, and for the figures including those events that resulted in a fatality to still be released at a later date, once they have been able to be compiled?

Nāku iti noa, nā
Mark Hanna

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koutou,

A response to my request for official information regarding accidental weapon discharges was due by 2017/03/10. It is now 2017/03/11 and I have not received any response further than the clarification requested on 2017/02/27 which indicated the some of the information I have requested should be ready for release within the standard 20 working days timeframe.

If an extension to the deadline is required to provide the rest of the information, which I have been told is likely to be the case, then Section 15A of the Official Information Act requires that I be informed of the period of the extension within 20 working days after the day on which the request is received.

If a response has been sent, please ensure that it was sent to the correct email address. In the past I am aware that administrative mishandling by NZ Police has resulted in responses to requests for official information made via the website fyi.org.nz being sent to an incorrect email address, as the email address had been typed incorrectly by hand.

Nāku, nā,
Mark Hanna

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From: THOMSON, Raewyn
New Zealand Police


Attachment image001.jpg
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Attachment hanna mark 16 7758 5 signed letter.pdf
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Attachment HANNA 16 7758 5 Copy of Tables V2 Copy of 170301.xlsx
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[1]New Zealand Raewyn Thomson
Police Logo Ministerial Services Advisor | Ministerial Services | New
Zealand Police
E: [2][email address
Police National Headquarters, 180 Molesworth Street,
Thorndon, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6011
[3]www.police.govt.nz

 

 

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

References

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3. http://www.police.govt.nz/

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

Though this request has been marked as complete because I've received most of the information requested, some is still to come:

"Providing these figures [where the use of force is associated with a fatality] would require an extension, so as agreed, Police will endeavour to send you these figures when they become available."

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From: THOMSON, Raewyn
New Zealand Police


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Attachment hanna mark 16 7758 5 signed reply.pdf
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[1]New Zealand Raewyn Thomson
Police Logo Ministerial Services Advisor | Ministerial Services | New
Zealand Police
E: [2][email address
Police National Headquarters, 180 Molesworth Street,
Thorndon, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6011
[3]www.police.govt.nz

 

 

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

References

Visible links
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.police.govt.nz/

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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora Raewyn,

The attached reply from Superintendent Chris Scahill refers to an attached spreadsheet, but the only attachments I can see on your email are the PDF containing his signed reply and the NZ Police logo (which, though I expect it was embedded in the original email, the FYI website interprets as an attachment).

Could you please try sending that spreadsheet through again?

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: THOMSON, Raewyn
New Zealand Police


Attachment hanna mark part 5 material for release.pdf
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Dear Mr Hanna

I apologise for this oversight. Please see attached spreadsheet.

Regards

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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora Raewyn,

Thank you, I have received that attachment now.

However the latest response has left me with some confusion regarding the difference between events involving a taser "which resulted in a fatality" and events "where the use of TASER has caused a fatality".

The response notes that "Police have no record of any event where the use of TASER has caused a fatality". However I'm uncertain if this means there have been no uses of a taser in this period that have not been logged as TOR events and therefore already provided.

I am aware, through media reports, of the death of Gregory McPeake in March 2015. I know NZ Police maintain that his death was not caused by taser use. However, my understanding is that for incidents such as this, which resulted in a fatality regardless of its cause, the use of force by police would not be recorded in the TOR database.

Could you please confirm whether or not events such as these, where a taser was used and the incident resulted in a fatality, have been included in the data that I have been provided?

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora Raewyn,

I still haven't received an answer to the follow-up question I sent in early April. Could you please take another look and get back to me? Here it is again for your reference:

"Could you please confirm whether or not events such as [the death of Gregory McPeake], where a taser was used and the incident resulted in a fatality, have been included in the data that I have been provided?"

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: THOMSON, Raewyn
New Zealand Police

I am out of the office until 13 November  2017.  For work matters please
contact [email address]

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

I sent the following message this morning to Raewyn Thomson, regarding request 16/7758/5, and have been informed they are out of the office until November. I'd appreciate it if someone would be able to take a look and get back to me:

"Kia ora Raewyn,

I still haven't received an answer to the follow-up question I sent in early April. Could you please take another look and get back to me? Here it is again for your reference:

"Could you please confirm whether or not events such as [the death of Gregory McPeake], where a taser was used and the incident resulted in a fatality, have been included in the data that I have been provided?"

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna"

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New Zealand Police

Kia Ora Mark,
 
Thank you for your email.
 
I have sent the following request to the appropriate department, and they
will endeavor to contact you as soon as possible.
 
Kind regards,
 
New Zealand Police

-----Mark Hanna <[FOI #5370 email]> wrote:
-----
To: OIA/LGOIMA requests at New Zealand Police <[New Zealand Police request email]>
From: Mark Hanna <[FOI #5370 email]>
Date: 06/10/2017 10:14AM
Subject: Re: Official Information request - Accidental Weapon Discharges

Tēnā koe,
I sent the following message this morning to Raewyn Thomson, regarding
request 16/7758/5, and have been informed they are out of the office until
November. I'd appreciate it if someone would be able to take a look and
get back to me:
"Kia ora Raewyn,
I still haven't received an answer to the follow-up question I sent in
early April. Could you please take another look and get back to me? Here
it is again for your reference:
"Could you please confirm whether or not events such as [the death of
Gregory McPeake], where a taser was used and the incident resulted in a
fatality, have been included in the data that I have been provided?"
Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna"

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #5370 email]
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[1]https://fyi.org.nz/help/officers
If you find this service useful as an Official Information officer, please
ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's OIA or LGOIMA
page.

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From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Hanna

I refer to your request of 6/10/17 for information further to the response
you received about accidental weapons discharges.  You asked if events
such as the death of Gregory McPeake where a Taser was used and the
incident resulted in a fatality have been included in the data you have
been provided.

 

Your request is being dealt with under the Official Information Act and
you will receive a response pursuant to that Act.

 

Ministerial Services

Police National Headquarters / New Zealand Police / Nga Pirihimana O
Aotearoa

180 Molesworth Street, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140  [1]www.police.govt.nz

 

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

References

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