Australian Police contingent to assist local police

Australian Police contingent to assist local police

National News

A large number of Australian police staff are being mobilised to assist in the Christchurch earthquake rescue operation.

Assistant Commissioner Grant Nicholls, Specialist Operations, Police National Headquarters says 290 sworn and unarmed officers will be deployed over the coming days.

In addition, 10 Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) officers will be sent. All these officers are expected to arrive in Christchurch no later than Friday.

The officers will be in Christchurch for an initial period of up to14 days, and will be teamed with New Zealand police officers.

The exact nature of their roles and responsibilities are still being worked through.

Assistant Commissioner Nicholls says the officers will have full sworn powers, and says the operating environments in both countries are very similar.

He says while New Zealand officers have travelled to assist with Australian operations in the past, this is the first time large numbers of Australian officers have come to New Zealand to assist here.

Police Public Affairs: 04 460 2986 or 04 474 9482