Christchurch mosque attacks: Experts say all police should be trained to be first on scene of large-scale terrorism attacks

A global counter-terrorism expert says all police should be trained and equipped to be first on the scene of large-scale terrorist attacks.   

He also told the coronial inquest into the March 15 mosque attacks that police should go straight in, even if inadequately armed because it's "their job to protect the public".  

The United Kingdom and United States have experienced many of the world's worst terrorism events.  

On Thursday, counter-terrorism experts from both countries beamed into the Christchurch inquest.   

"Fortunately, for myself, I was able to protect myself under a fire truck when the second tower collapsed," US counter-terrorism expert Dr Frank Straub said. 

Dr Straub has been called on to give expert evidence on improvements New Zealand could make in wake of March 15, like their countries have had to do many times before.   

"If you go back to Colombine, which was really a watershed moment here in this country," he added.  

First responding police at the Colombine school shooting busied themself cordoning the scene whilst the shooters were still killing students inside. That's now changed.   

"We train those officers and expect those officers to go to sound of gunfire and neutralise the assailants," he added.  

The two men were largely complimentary of the March 15 response, however, Dr Straub said our training and policies could differ.  

He believes frontline police officers should trained to enter such situations themselves, not wait for special tactical officers.   

"Officers out doing routine patrol are most often the individuals that are first on these horrific scenes," he added. 

On March 15, they were, and they waited.   

"It was concerning from an outside perspective, but we understand that they acted consistent with their training," he said.  

However, he said it's inconsistent with overseas examples such as the Manchester bombing.   

"Within five minutes of the bomb going off, the first two are actually heading into the arena," UK counter-terrorism expert Scott Wilson said.  

"The same thing also happened in Paris, there was patrol officers who made the initial contact into the theatre," Straub added.  

"It's our job to protect innocent people."