The actions of police to rescue a woman following a 17-hour stand-off at Trevallyn have been hailed as heroic and almost unprecedented.
About 9.45am on Saturday police entered 33 New World Avenue in response to a hostage-siege situation.
A 40-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man, armed with a small calibre weapon, had been held up in the house since about 4.30pm on Friday.
While negotiation attempts had been ongoing throughout Friday evening and Saturday morning, police stormed the building once they learned the woman’s life was in danger.
The Examiner understands the last time similar action was taken by police was in response to the Port Arthur massacre of April, 1996.
Northern District Commander Brett Smith said the decision for police to enter the house was not taken lightly, or without significant risk.
“Our police effectively went into that house, risked their own lives, to save the life of another person and they should be commended for their courage and their bravery,” he said.
“Without delving too deep into it, it is probably safe to say that negotiations at times were positive and at times not so positive.
“For us to take this kind of action is pretty serious.
“Again, I reiterate that the actions of our people to do this in those circumstances and for us to commit to that and our feeling that this woman's life was in serious danger, is a significant cause of action for us to take.”
No one was harmed as the result of the incident, despite more than 40 shots being fired from the house.
Commander Smith said he was confident that with the conclusion of the investigation, people in the community had no reason to be fearful.
“All of Launceston is a really good place to live, it is a lovely community, but from time to time we do have these types of things occur. It happens all over Australia, Launceston is no different,” he said.
“I think what the community can take heart with is certainly our response.
“I am very proud of our response, particularly in a situation that did present a significant risk to our people and that shouldn’t be underestimated.
“That our people went into that house with the threat and the risk, that any one of them could have been shot. And I think that can very largely be taken for granted and given that we use our specialist resources, but they are people no different to anyone else.”
Police Minister Michael Ferguson commended the police officers involved in the incident.
“Congratulations and many thanks to Tasmania Police officers who bravely took the necessary action to resolve the Trevallyn stand-off this morning,” he said.
“I know that many in our community were inconvenienced and even frightened at the overnight operation. For now, let’s all be grateful that no lives were lost, and say thank you to our serving police officers who used their training and demonstrated their commitment to all of our safety.”
The man and woman were taken into custody on Saturday.