Reports that the NSW Police are adopting a “takedown” or “shoot first” policy in response to potential domestic terror threats risk undermining a centuries old principle that any armed response by police must be proportionate to the threat they face.

Greens MP and Police Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“It is highly dangerous for anyone to be proposing a so-called “shoot first” policy for NSW police.

“Any armed response by police must be proportionate to the threat they are confronting.

“We must not proceed down the path of greenlighting a police culture of ‘shoot first, ask questions later.’

“A shoot to kill policy can go horribly wrong and seriously undermine efforts to unite our community in response to terror threats.

“When the UK police killed an innocent Brazilian man on the London subway in 2005, that single unjustified killing seriously eroded public faith in the police.

“Tragically there may well be instances where there is no possibility of negotiation and a lethal police response is required, but it cannot be a blanket policy.

“Any lethal use of force by the police must be based on a rational and calculated assessment of the nature of the threat, not an across the board ‘shoot first’ policy.

“NSW Police cannot become judge, jury and executioner, we have the rule of law in this state for a very good reason.

“Ensuring our police respond in a manner that is proportionate to the threat they face is an essential policy setting in a liberal democracy with respect for the rule of law,” Mr Shoebridge said.