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Corrections arms staff with pepper spray

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017

Corrections officers will carry pepper spray from next month to help them handle potentially dangerous situations including when escorting prisoners in cars.

It's crucial staff are immediately able to control spontaneous situations to keep both themselves and prisoners safe, Corrections Minister Louise Upston said on Wednesday.

"Pepper spray is a safe tactical option with a lower risk of injury compared with other means of force," she said.

Pepper spray adds to other safety equipment that has been rolled out to Corrections staff in recent years, including stab-proof vests and body cameras.

Corrections officers will be armed with the same spray used by police when the programme is rolled out in prisons from next months.

Guides for carrying and using the spray will be redeveloped.

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