Tragically, police officers in Ireland and New Zealand were killed in the line of duty last week. Both nations are notable for having predominantly unarmed police forces and deaths among their officers are generally rare. In New Zealand, the Diplomatic Protection Squad, dog sections and airport police officers carry firearms but the rest of the force is not routinely armed, though officers are trained in the use of pistols and AR-15 style rifles that are stored in lock boxes in patrol cars. In Ireland, detectives and certain units such as the Regional Support Unit and Emergency Response Unit do carry firearms.
Last week in Ireland, Detective Garda Colm Horkan was carrying a firearm which was taken from him before he was shot dead in County Roscommon. In New Zealand, Constable Matthew Dennis Hunt died after a shooting at a routine traffic stop which left another officer injured. Men were arrested after the incidents in both countries and charged with murder. As international discussions about heavy-handed policing dominated global headlines in recent weeks, unarmed police forces remain rare with Ireland and New Zealand among 18 countries that do not regularly issue their officers with firearms.
Despite last week's shocking events, the strategy of unarmed policing tends to work well in some countries where the belief endures that arming the police with guns leads to more violence than it prevents. This infographic provides an overview of countries where police officers patrol unarmed though exceptions do of course occur under certain circumstances such as when an armed response team is urgently required. The list of countries included here was initially compiled by CNN.