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Pepper spray decision taken responsibly

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Public Service Association says allowing prison officers to use pepper spray will help keep them safe and comes after a robust trial and evaluation period.

The Corrections Minister has announced that officers in all New Zealand prisons will have access to pepper spray following a 12 month trial.

"It's good to know that this decision has not been made in haste and that it is based on robust evidence showing that having pepper spray as an option will reduce the risk of injury to both staff and prisoners," says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

"It's important to remember that it can only be used as an option during a planned force situation and that is very appropriate for the New Zealand prison environment. We would not expect to see it used regularly."

The PSA says it would also like to see the increased use of control dogs in prison investigated further and would urge the Department to undertake a similar trial and assessment process.

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