armed hold-up of a tavern in Onehunga.
Today we learn that a bank in the township of Temuka (population of around 4000) has been robbed and police are presently engaged in a full scale land and air hunt for at least one escaped robber. Today's robbery is the 9th this month, and that's just in commercial premises. Is armed crime getting out of control in New Zealand and is it time to curb firearm ownership?
230,000 licensed owners, 1.1 million firearms
According to Wikipedia, NZ has an estimated 230,000 licensed firearms owners using approximately 1.1 million firearms, enough for 1 in 4 of the population. There are no figures for the number of weapons illegally owned by unlicensed individuals.
NZ has 11 times as many guns per capita as Britain and 60% more than Australia where police are armed.
NZ Herald feature article: "Armed bank robberies on the rise" June 2009
For details of other recent armed robberies see "Armed Robberies"
Two men were eventually arrested after a two car crash in Ashburton. We understand that the bank involved may have been a branch of the ANZ.
View Larger Map, route between Temuka and Ashburton
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