Special Tactics Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Special Tactics Group
Active 1964 - present
Country New Zealand New Zealand
Branch New Zealand Police
Role Law Enforcement, Domestic Counter-Terrorism and Tactical 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
2012 Megaupload arrests
Commanders
Current
commander
Superintendent Bruce Dunstan

The Special Tactics Group (STG), formerly known as the Anti-Terrorist Squad, 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.

History[edit]

The Anti-Terrorist Squad 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.[1] They located gunman David Gray and ended his spree. Group member Stephen Vaughan was shot in the ankle during the final shoot-out.

The squad was renamed the Special Tactics Group in 1992,[2][3][4] and became a full-time group in 2002 due to changes made by the New Zealand Police in response to worldwide terrorism-related events.[5] The STG was involved in the 2009 Napier shootings alongside their colleagues in the Armed Offenders Squad.[4]

Role[edit]

The STG deals with armed incidents that are beyond the capability of the part-time Armed Offenders Squad, of which they are also members. While the Armed Offenders Squad is trained to cordon or contain high risk situations such as sieges, the Special Tactics Group is trained to resolve them.[6] The group also provides specialist protection to high risk persons and VIPs.[7] The STG is supported during its operations by the Armed Offenders Squad, negotiation teams and canine units trained for use in situations involving firearms.

The group is known to train with New Zealand Special Air Service Commandos,[8] of which little public information is released and Australian Police tactical groups.[9]

The STG has 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.[4] Along with Police Tactical Groups from across Australia it 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.[10] 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.[7]

STG officers work closely with the Royal New Zealand Air Force utilising Iroquois helicopters and crew from Number 3 Squadron for both training and operations.[11]

Principal roles[edit]

  • 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
  • Collecting tactical information on criminal activities
  • 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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Forbes, Murray J. (1997). Confessions from the front line. Sandringham, Auckland: Howling at the Moon Productions. p. 199. ISBN 0-9583568-5-8. 
  2. ^ Van Beynen, Ray (1998). Zero-Alpha: The NZ Police Armed Offenders Squad official history. North Harbour, Auckland: Howling at the Moon Productions. p. 209. ISBN 0-9583717-4-1. 
  3. ^ Forbes, Murray J. (1997). Confessions from the front line. Sandringham, Auckland: Howling at the Moon Productions. p. 178. ISBN 0-9583568-5-8. 
  4. ^ a b c "Police trained for 'ugly situation'". The Press. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  5. ^ "Protecting New Zealand's Borders – the Government's Approach". NZ Government. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  6. ^ "Police expand anti-terrorism unit". New Zealand Herald. September 13, 2002. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  7. ^ a b "Responding to the threat of terrorism". NZ Police. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  8. ^ "New Zealand Special Air Service". Special Operations.Com. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  9. ^ http://www.3news.co.nz/VIDEO-Police-special-tactics-group-train-in-red-zone/tabid/423/articleID/308799/Default.aspx
  10. ^ "APEC Meeting (Police Powers) Bill 2007". NSW Government. 7 June 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  11. ^ Black-clad police to swarm city: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/5422930/Black-clad-police-to-swarm-city