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Special Tactics Group
STGshoulder.jpg
Special Tactics Group Patch
Active 1964 - Present
Branch New Zealand Police
Role Domestic Counter-Terrorism and Law Enforcement
Part of Under control of the New Zealand Police
Nickname STG / "Super Tough Guys"
Engagements Aramoana massacre
2007 New Zealand anti-terror raids
2009 Napier shootings
Commanders
Current
commander
Superintendent Neville Matthews

Previously known as the Anti-Terrorist Squad, the Special Tactics Group is the full-time tactical and Counter-terrorism group of the New Zealand Police.

The STG is civilian-police SWAT type unit established to respond to high-risk situations which are beyond the scope or capacity of everyday policing. STG officers directly support operational police in incidents such as sieges with specialist tactical, negotiation, intelligence and command support services.

Contents

History

The Special Tactics Group, originally named the "Anti Terrorist Squad" until early 1990/1991,[1][2] was a part-time unit raised in the 1960s to deal with high risk situations involving armed offenders and possible terrorism related events. Commissioner of Police John Jamieson sent the group in response to the Aramoana massacre in 1990,[3] they successfully located gunman David Gray and ended his spree. Group member Stephen Vaughan was shot in the ankle during the final shoot-out at Aramoana. The unit became a full-time group in 2002 due to a number of changes made by the New Zealand Police in response to world wide terrorism related events.[4]

The STG has been involved in the 2009 Napier shootings alongside their colleagues in the Armed Offenders Squad.[2]

Role

The STG deals with armed incidents that are beyond the capability of the part-time Armed Offender Squad. The group also provides specialist protection to high risk persons and VIPs.[5]

While the Police Armed Offender Squad is trained to cordon or contain high risk situations such as sieges, the Special Tactics Group is trained to resolve them.[6] However, STG members are also members of the Armed Offenders Squad.

The group is known to train with the New Zealand Special Air Service Counter-Terrorist Tactical Assault Group,[7] of which little public information is released.

The STG has also provided specialist armed officers for overseas operations such as the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) working alongside officers from the Australian Federal Police.[2]

The STG along with Police Tactical Groups from across Australia provided several officers on secondment to the NSW Police Force Tactical Operations Unit to assist with security operations during the Sydney APEC meeting in 2007.[8]

The STG is supported during its operations by the Armed Offenders Squad, negotiation teams and canine units specifically trained for use in situations involving firearms.

STG have been part of all major security operations in New Zealand including the 1990 Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1995, APEC meetings, royal and VIP tours.[5]

Principal roles

Special Tactics Group officers during a training exercise.
  • Protecting endangered witnesses
  • Resolving siege and hostage situations, as well as armed offender situations
  • Providing a negotiation service in high risk and critical situations
  • Undertaking searches of premises in high risk situations
  • The arrest of armed and dangerous offenders
  • Escorting and securing dangerous prisoners in high risk situations
  • Providing support services for major operations
  • Escorting and protecting VIPs and other at risk or important persons

The STG also provides specialist assistance in performing tasks which are beyond the scope of operational police. Some of these tasks may require specialist equipment or expertise in certain areas.

See also

References

  1. ^ Forbes, Murray J. (1997). Confessions from the front line. Sandringham, Auckland: Howling at the Moon Productions. p. 178. ISBN 0958356858.  
  2. ^ a b c "Police trained for 'ugly situation'". The Press. 2009-05-08. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/national/2393521/Police-trained-for-ugly-situation. Retrieved 2009-05-09.  
  3. ^ Forbes, Murray J. (1997). Confessions from the front line. Sandringham, Auckland: Howling at the Moon Productions. p. 199. ISBN 0958356858.  
  4. ^ "Protecting New Zealand's Borders – the Government's Approach". NZ Government. 30 August 2007. http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/protecting+new+zealand%E2%80%99s+borders+%E2%80%93+government%E2%80%99s+approach. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  
  5. ^ a b "Responding to the threat of terrorism". NZ Police. http://www.police.govt.nz/service/counterterrorism/. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  
  6. ^ "Police expand anti-terrorism unit". NZ Herald. September 13, 2002. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=2797126. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  
  7. ^ "New Zealand Special Air Service". Special Operations.Com. http://www.specialoperations.com/Foreign/New_Zealand/NZSAS.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  
  8. ^ "APEC Meeting (Police Powers) Bill 2007". NSW Government. 7 June 2007. http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/8bd91bc90780f150ca256e630010302c/6ef7084473afa23aca2572ff0019cb33!OpenDocument. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  
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