Tuesday, 31 August 2021 - 2:44pm |
National News

Police respond to small protests around the country

3 min read

Please attribute to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster:
Police responded to anti-lockdown protests involving small groups outside government and local council buildings around the country this morning, resulting in 19 arrests for failing to comply with Alert Level 4 restrictions. 
The protestors were spoken to by Police at each location and all have now dispersed. 
In Northland, two people were arrested – one each outside the Kaikohe and Whangārei council buildings. The Whangārei protestor was subsequently released and issued with an infringement notice.
In Auckland, four people were arrested at a small protest outside Government House in Epsom. Two infringement notices were also issued.
Waikato Police arrested three people for failing to comply with the Health Order after responding to a group of protestors gathered in Civic Square, Hamilton. 
Six people were arrested by Bay of Plenty Police following a gathering outside the Tauranga City Council building. 
Another small gathering was reported in Taupo, with one arrest made.
Central District Police responded to small groups of protestors outside council buildings in New Plymouth, Whanganui and Manawatū. Two people were arrested at the Whanganui protest.
A demonstration also took place outside the council building in Nelson. Police engaged with protestors and no arrests were made.
In Christchurch, one person was arrested following a protest also outside a council building.
While these protests were small, the actions of those involved are very disappointing. 
While protest is a normal feature of a well-functioning democracy, Police have a low tolerance for anyone who deliberately ignores the restrictions in the current situation. Today’s arrests reflect that.
The alert level is in place to protect us all and we need everyone to do their part. 
AVSEC update:
From tomorrow, the Aviation Security Service (AVSEC) will be assisting Police in Canterbury District with reassurance patrols.
AVSEC staff are a welcome addition to Canterbury Police’s response to COVID-19. 
They will be supporting our reassurance efforts by visiting essential services such as supermarkets and petrol stations and conducting foot patrols across the city in public places such as parks and beaches.
Compliance update: 
Since Alert Level 4 came into place, 118 people have been charged with a total of 126 offences nationwide. 
Of the charges filed, 84 are for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 28 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, 11 for Health Act Breaches and 3 for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.
In the same time period, 341 formal warnings were issued to 338 people - 126 for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 119 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, 95 for Health Act Breaches and 1 for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.
Police have received a total of 13,531 online breach notifications. 8367 were about a gathering, 3865 were about a business, and 1,299 were about an individual. 
In addition to the Online Breach Reports, a total of 8399 COVID-19 related calls were made to the 105-phone line. The majority (6005) of calls were requests for information, and 2394 were to report perceived COVID-19 breaches.
From 19 August 2021, Police began issuing infringements for COVID-19 related breaches.
As at 5pm on 30 August, Police have issued 2483 infringements nationwide. The breakdown of these offences is as follows:
• Person failed to remain at current home / residence – 2291
• Person failed to wear a face covering on premises – 49
• Person failed to comply with applicable physical distancing rule – 68
• Obstruct/Hinder Medical Officer of Health or Person Assisting Med Officer/Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19) – 37
• Person failed to wear a face covering on public transport – 6
• Person in control of premises failed to close as required – 7
• Person in control of workplace failed to display QR code – 15
• Person organised a gathering in an outdoor place – 10
Issued by Police Media Centre.