Please attribute to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster:
Police in Eastern District are bringing the visibility and support of their local stations straight to residents in some of the most heavily cyclone-affected areas.
From today, a Mobile Police Base is available 24 hours a day at Petane War Memorial Park on Main North Road in Bay View.
This is the second Mobile Police Base, with the first deployed to Puketapu last week.
The base there has been put to good use by the community and feedback to date has been very positive.
A third base is on the way in the coming days.
As the roading network begins to reopen, the bases will be making their way around the region.
This enables Police to have greater visibility in our communities, particularly in more rural or isolated locations.
I want to acknowledge the feelings of distress and concern from some residents in Eastern District, and reassure them that we are maintaining our additional staff numbers in district while we work through the recovery phase.
We have heard residents’ concerns around crime and our officers are working hard every day carrying out reassurance patrols and engaging with communities.
The mobile bases further boost the additional resources already available in district, which include specialist search groups, intelligence officers, investigators, dog handlers, iwi liaison officers, frontline staff and the Eagle helicopter.
As part of our response to this event, Police staff have assisted with rescues and evacuations, they have door-knocked at homes to locate people sought by loved ones, responded to a wide range of calls for service, and maintained a high visibility presence across both Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti.
I am proud of what our Police staff are doing in the communities, and I know many of them are also dealing with the personal impact of Cyclone Gabrielle.
We urge anyone who witnesses suspicious behaviour or is the victim of crime to get in touch as soon as possible.
If you need urgent assistance, please contact Police on 111.
For non-urgent matters call 105, come to a local station, or visit one of our mobile bases.
We also encourage other members of the community to come down to our mobile bases and meet with frontline officers.
All are welcome. Staying highly visible and addressing local concerns remains our top priority.
Incident involving road workers
Earlier comments regarding an incident in which firearms were presented to road workers were incorrect.
The incident in question was reported to Police at the time, and was attended. However, it was not recorded in Police systems in the usual way, which resulted in difficulty locating information about it when asked by media.
The incident was referenced in an intelligence report that was shared with staff at Police National Headquarters on 18 February.
However, this information was unfortunately missed at the time a response was prepared for the Minister’s office.
I have since corrected this with the Minister’s office and apologised to the Prime Minister for the difficulty that this caused.
Issued by Police Media Centre