Police issue more than 650 lockdown infringement notices

Author
Claire Trevett, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Aug 2021, 11:55AM

Police issue more than 650 lockdown infringement notices

Author
Claire Trevett, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Aug 2021, 11:55AM

Police Minister Poto Williams and Police Commissioner Andrew Coster are briefing MPs this morning on the police enforcement of the Covid-19 Delta outbreak. 

Police are charged with enforcing the rules of the lockdown, including the mandatory wearing of masks in places such as supermarkets. 

There have also been cases of arrests at anti-vaxxer protests, people going jetboating, and concerns people are trying to leave their homes to get to holiday homes. 

Williams told MPs that police had issued 686 lockdown infringement notices and there had been 5000 calls to a police hotline reporting breaches. 

Commissioner Andrew Coster said they were primarily the result of protest activity and other intentional breaches. 

108 formal warnings had been issued and 507 infringement notices had been issued. 

Yesterday police started up roadblocks between Auckland and Northland to stop people travelling for non-essential reasons. 

Today they have set up three fixed point roadblocks between the regions: on State Highway 1's intersection with SH12, Mountain Rd in Kaiwaka and at Cove Rd by Bream Tail Rd. 

The select committee could also provide insights on how Police would deal with a situation in which Auckland was left at alert level 4 while other neighbouring regions move to level 3. 

Officials are currently working on what regional borders might apply, and how that would work in practical terms taking into account issues such as roads linking the different regions and the need for supply vehicles to move in and out. 

In the past when Auckland has been at a higher alert level than other regions, Police had roadblocks between Auckland and other regions to make sure people were only moving through for legitimate reasons such as essential work, or to return to their homes. 

However, New Zealand has not yet had a situation where one region was at level 4 and others were at level 3. 

Police have also now been listed for priority vaccinations after it was revealed only about 30 per cent of officers had been vaccinated when the outbreak began. That was despite the Police Association pushing for priority vaccines for months. 

Cabinet will decide whether to change the alert levels for regions outside Auckland tomorrow.