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Saturday, 7 July 2018

Armed BANK Security In New Zealand:

Before you were born - and until the late 1970s - some civilians here in New Zealand were still allowed .. and some were actually required .. to be ARMED.

Logically they were also permitted to use their issued weapons in 'self defense' and in the line of duty to protect property in the BANKS and other public areas where they worked.

A superb leather worker I dealt with (when I was the NZ Glock Factory Agent) for holsters, mag. pouches and gun-belts showed me his 'Carry Permit' issued when he worked as a Security Guard here.

- I've been sharing memories on this with Rod:

"When I was a teenager I used to go hunting with Bxxx Bxxxxxx (a prominent author of NZ hunting/deer books) when he worked for the Bank of NZ at Tuatapere in Southland.  He told me that the day he started with the bank as an 18 year old cadet in Invercargill, his first job entailed being handed a .455 Webley Mk VI revolver and told to walk behind a senior teller who was carrying cash in a briefcase to another bank.

  He caused a bit of a stir in the main street of Invercargill by carrying the revolver in his hand, no-one having bothered to tell him to conceal it!
Webley Mk.VI - Break Action .455" Caliber. 

"- On another occasion, the BNZ sent me a .38 Mk III Webley for its annual service when I had my business in Rangiora.  It was delivered by courier, fully loaded, in a small cardboard box secured with a single strip of Sellotape."

Webley Mk.III .38" Revolver.

"Quite frankly, the average bank teller would have been a serious liability with a pistol in their hands.  They had little or no training and were generally of a timid disposition, hence highly unpredictable in a stressful situation."

- Why is it that our NZ Law Enforcement "authorities" seem to continuously undervalue proper firearms safety training & practice  .. while insisting on having weapons available to only them? - Currently issued with Glock 17 9mm pistols and 'Bushmaster' rifles - our NZ Police often appear to be clumsy and unfamiliar with their tools. Maybe their bosses think that the sworn police personnel are of such character & ability that they don't need ongoing training & practice.

- This is even more strange - bearing in mind that it is a NZ Police requirement that civilian endorsed target pistol shooters must practice-shoot a minimum of 12 times a year on range to maintain their sporting permits.

 .. "All the banks and security firms were disarmed in about 1976.  I am not aware of any firearms issued to bank staff at all these days.  All of the armed cash escort work (big shipments only) is now done by plain clothes Police.

Prior to the general disarming, bank tellers had revolvers at the counters (usually Mk III .38 Webley pocket revolvers, although other models were also used including .455 Webley Mk VI).  Armoured Freightways provided the armed cash escort facilities and they were armed with .32 Browning M1910 pistols." 
FN Browning M1910.

 "I used to train the Canterbury Armoured Freightways staff in pistol shooting at McLeans Island (Christchurch Pistol Club Range) every couple of months and I provided reloaded practice ammo for them using ..308 100 grain Speer Plinkers. 

 Their good factory ammo was saved for carry use.  I also serviced the bank revolvers on an annual basis.  Bank staff were meant to have a training shoot once per year but it seldom happened.  Small inter-bank cash transfers were carried out by bank staff with one of them at least being armed."

I think that the present day "Armoured Freightways" is now called 'SECURITY EXPRESS'  .. and I'm told that armed security is provided by plain cloths Police escort .. I presume on a user pays basis.

'Private Security Personel" (unarmed) are required here to be NZQA Trained & licensed by our Ministry of Justice (PSPLA Section). (NZQA Standards 27360, 27361, 27364)

I have seen NZ Police H&K sub-machine guns and sniper rifles in their armoury - and have also noted their press release of buying H&K MZP1 37/40MM GRENADE LAUNCHERS for use in riot control - but I doubt they train much with these as each SAFARILAND XM1006 sponge-round will cost around US$50.

Note: In the 1990 Aramoana Massacre (19 November) The Police AOS (firearms specialists) ended that sorry business by firing more than 60 rounds from their sub-machine guns when David Gray ran out crying "Kill me you bastards" .....  hitting him five times.

 Multiple Medals and Commendations were awarded.

I have a couple of interesting books from the 1960s written by G G Kelley who was an Arms and Ballistic Officer of the New Zealand Police Department .. 'The Gun In The Case' and 'Gun In The Hills' - from the earliest days firearms training here was very "patchy" - one early exception was Major Von Tempsky (killed in action 1868) who ensured that his 'Forest Rangers' were equipped with the best available arms - Calisher & Terry carbines, Revolvers, & especially made Bowie knives ... BUT he particularly ensured that they trained hard and practiced combat with their gear.

Marty K.