Special Tactics Group

Special Tactics Group

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Armed Offenders Squad

caption=Special Tactics Group Patch
branch= New Zealand Police
dates= 1964 - Present
specialization= Domestic Counter-Terrorism and Law Enforcement
command_structure= Under control of the New Zealand Police
current_commander= Superintendent Neville Matthews
nickname= STG
battles= Aramoana massacre
Previously known as the Anti-Terrorist Squad, the Special Tactics Group 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.


The Special Tactics Group, originally named 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. The unit became a full-time group in 2002 due to a number of changes made by the New Zealand Police in response to world wide terrorism related events. [cite web|title=Protecting New Zealand's Borders – the Government's Approach|url=http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/protecting+new+zealand%E2%80%99s+borders+%E2%80%93+government%E2%80%99s+approach|date=30 August 2007|work=NZ Government|accessdate=2008-03-26]


The STG deals with armed incidents that are beyond the capability of the part-time Armed Offender Squad. The group also provides specialist protection to high risk persons and VIPs.cite web|title=Responding to the threat of terrorism|url=http://www.police.govt.nz/service/counterterrorism/|work=NZ Police|accessdate=2008-03-26]

While the Police Armed Offender Squad is trained to cordon or contain high risk situations such as sieges, the Special Tactics Group is trained to resolve them. [cite web|title=Police expand anti-terrorism unit|url=http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=2797126|date=September 13, 2002|work=NZ Herald|accessdate=2008-03-26]

The group is known to train with the New Zealand Special Air Service Counter Terrorist Tactical Assault Group, [cite web|title=New Zealand Special Air Service|url=http://www.specialoperations.com/Foreign/New_Zealand/NZSAS.htm|work=Special Operations.Com|accessdate=2008-03-26] of which little public information is released.

The STG has also 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.

The STG along with Police Tactical Groups from across Australia 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. [cite web|title=APEC Meeting (Police Powers) Bill 2007|url=http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/8bd91bc90780f150ca256e630010302c/6ef7084473afa23aca2572ff0019cb33!OpenDocument|date=7 June 2007|work=NSW Government|accessdate=2008-03-26]

The STG is supported during its operations by the Armed Offenders Squad, negotiation teams and canine units specifically trained for use in situations involving firearms.

STG have been part of all major security operations in New Zealand including the 1990 Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, APEC meetings, royal and VIP tours.

Principal roles

* 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
* 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.

ee also

* New Zealand Police - Armed Offenders Squad (AOS)
* Australian Federal Police - Specialist Response and Security Team
* flag|New South Wales - Tactical Operations Unit
* flag|Northern Territory - Territory Response Group
* flag|Queensland - Special Emergency Response Team
* flag|South Australia - Special Tasks and Rescue Group
* flag|Tasmania - Special Operations Group
* flag|Victoria - Special Operations Group
* flag|Western Australia - Tactical Response Group
* - SWAT
* New Zealand Special Air Service
* Counter-terrorism


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