New Zealand Police knew its trial of an Armed Response Team had problems even before the test started.
That’s according to exclusive documents obtained by 1 NEWS which reveal police were repeatedly told trialling armed officers on patrol wouldn't be able to prove its worth.
The six-month trial was sold on tackling a rise in gun crime not long after the horror of the Christchurch terrorist attack.
Last October police launched its Armed Response Teams in three districts, which were effectively members of the Armed Offenders Squad on patrol.
However, the researchers evaluating it told police that the immediate start of the trial, it’s short length and lack of baseline data meant its true value wasn't clear.
In December, police were told again it was almost certain the trial wouldn’t provide enough evidence.
“As an outcome evaluation yes it's munted, it's not robust enough and even their design team says it's not robust enough for an outcome evaluation,” Auckland University’s Andrew Sporle told 1 NEWS.
Commissioner of Police Andrew Coster denies it was about moving towards the widespread arming of our police.
“We do need to make sure that we keep the public and our people safe.
“But the range of inputs we need to ensure we land in the right place will take some time to pull together,” he says.
The union says while the trial was flawed, there is now a conversation to be had about the place of Armed Response Teams in policing.