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Drug scourge behind two police shootings

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/07/2016

Drugs are to behind two police shootings this week and actions to target the scourge have been unsuccessful, the police union says.

A man is in a critical condition after being shot twice in the stomach by an officer in Rotorua on Thursday following his alleged attacked on a police car while waving a "four foot slasher".

Less than 48 hours earlier, 36-year-old Nick Marshall was fatally shot by an officer during a raid on a property in Hamilton when he allegedly presented a firearm at officers.

Methamphetamine was a common factor in both, the Police Association says.

"Frontline police officers are reporting that methamphetamine use is endemic and in many areas it is more prevalent and easier to acquire than cannabis," president Greg O'Connor said on Friday.

He said the 2008 Methamphetamine Action Plan had been unsuccessful and while there had been discussions around police actions following the two shootings, it was important to address the behaviour that prompted police to shoot.

"Police actions should always (be) scrutinised in absolute detail following any shooting - by the IPCA (Independent Police Conduct Authority), the Coroner and through a criminal inquiry," Mr O'Connor said.

"However, it is also important that the environmental factors contributing to the behaviour of offender is also examined to then minimise and prevent, where possible, the behaviours that lead to police having to use lethal force."

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