Police Admit Vital Christchurch Attack Information Missed, Urged to Act Amidst Inquest, New Zealand

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Police in Christchurch, New Zealand have admitted that vital information regarding the planning of the 2019 terrorist attack on two mosques was missed by dispatchers and senior officers. The revelation came during an inquest into the attacks, which resulted in the murder of 51 worshippers. An emergency call received from parliamentary services alerting the police to the attacker’s manifesto should have been treated with the highest priority and widely shared among law enforcement agencies, according to a senior police communicator. However, due to its classification as a priority 2 call, the information was overlooked, and the call was never acted upon.

Bret Watkins, who was the team leader in the Police Southern Communications Centre at the time of the attack, gave evidence during the inquest. He agreed that the first emergency call, which came from a parliamentary staffer, should have been classified as a priority 1 call. The call-taker and her supervisor believed it was appropriate to label it as a national security event with a priority 2 status. Watkins admitted that he should have acted on the call and upgraded its priority to ensure it received the attention it deserved.

The lack of action on the call meant that important information regarding the potential danger to the Linwood mosque was overlooked. Watkins stated that due to the high number of priority 1 firearms events occurring at the time, the information from the call was missed. He agreed with the assertion that this vital information should have been shouted from the rooftops. The inquest also revealed issues with the communication systems between the police and St John Ambulance, with frustration over their poor integration.

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Watkins suggested several improvements to the current systems in place. He stated that the computer system used in the communications center was outdated and needed to be replaced. Upgrades and better integration between the police and ambulance services were necessary. Watkins mentioned that incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) could be helpful in assessing the risk and prioritizing emergency calls. Other countries have successfully implemented AI systems to assist emergency communicators.

The ongoing inquest will continue to examine ten key issues over a six-week period. It aims to address the shortcomings in communication, response, and prioritization of emergency calls during the Christchurch attacks. The revelations from this inquiry will likely lead to reforms and improvements in the systems and processes used by law enforcement agencies to prevent future tragic events.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is the main issue that has been revealed during the inquest into the Christchurch terrorist attacks?

The main issue revealed during the inquest is that vital information regarding the planning of the attacks was missed by dispatchers and senior officers.

What information was missed and why?

An emergency call received from parliamentary services alerting the police to the attacker's manifesto was missed. It was classified as a priority 2 call instead of a priority 1 call, resulting in it being overlooked and never acted upon.

Who admitted the mistake regarding the classification of the emergency call?

Bret Watkins, who was the team leader in the Police Southern Communications Centre at the time, admitted the mistake regarding the classification of the emergency call.

Why was the importance of the emergency call not recognized?

The high number of priority 1 firearms events occurring at the time led to the information from the call being missed.

What improvements have been suggested by Watkins to prevent similar incidents in the future?

Watkins suggested several improvements including replacing the outdated computer system in the communications center, upgrading and better integrating the communication systems between the police and ambulance services, and incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) to assess risk and prioritize emergency calls.

What other issues were identified during the inquest?

The inquest also revealed issues with the communication systems between the police and St John Ambulance, with frustration over their poor integration.

What is the goal of the ongoing inquest?

The ongoing inquest aims to address the shortcomings in communication, response, and prioritization of emergency calls during the Christchurch attacks.

What is expected to result from the revelations and inquiry?

The revelations from the inquiry are expected to lead to reforms and improvements in the systems and processes used by law enforcement agencies to prevent future tragic events.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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