Tuesday, 30 September 2008 - 10:18am |
National News

Mobile station to boost Op Lane presence

1 min read

A Mobile Police Station (MPS) on loan from Counties/Manukau Police will augment Operation Lane - the homicide investigation into the death of 44 year-old Austin Hemmings - in Mills Lane today and again on Thursday, a week to the day since Mr Hemmings was killed.

Staff from the homicide investigation team will be boosted by recent Police College graduates who are based at the Downtown Police Station for a month so as to gain beat-patrol experience before dispersing to their various roles in other City District stations.

Officer in charge of Operation Lane, Detective Senior Sergeant Gerry Whitley, says the investigation team has recovered two knives from the immediate area since Saturday.

"We believe one of them is most likely the weapon used to kill Mr Hemmings but both have been sent to the ESR for forensic examination.

"Having the MPS in the area this week will hopefully go some way to generating some new information about the events immediately before and after Mr Hemmings' death.

"While we've made significant progress over the past six days, we are still focused on finding the taxi driver who we believe has driven the offender - albeit unwittingly - from near the scene of Mr Hemmings' death.

"We'd also like to hear from anyone who worked in or frequented the area who saw anything suspicious before or after 5.30pm on Thursday, September 25.

"Uniformed officers at a mobile station might just encourage people who might not otherwise take the time, to approach us and help with whatever information they can."

Mr Whitley said this part of the area canvass can turn up vital information that members of the public might think is immaterial to a serious criminal investigation but which can often turn out to be hugely significant to the inquiry team and criminal prosecution.


Issued by Noreen Hegarty

Auckland City Police Communications Manager

Ph 09 302 6947 or 0274-951-589

Website: www.police.govt.nz