Lockdown: Auckland driver faces charges after police stop him twice

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Mar 2020, 9:20AM

Lockdown: Auckland driver faces charges after police stop him twice

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Mar 2020, 9:20AM

An Auckland man is facing charges after being pulled over twice as police start clamping down on people flouting coronavirus lockdown rules.

"The person was stopped last night and he was stopped the night before," Police Commissioner Mike Bush told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking. "He had no reason to be out there. That does show our people [are on to it].

"Unfortunately for him, he wasn't complying with a number of driving matters... he wasn't entitled to have that car or to be out there."

A police spokeswoman said the driver was stopped by the Auckland Motorways police team.

"The man was not an essential worker and was not undertaking essential travel. The man was detained by police and is currently facing driving matters and further charges are being considered."

She said police would provide updates on the case.

Bush said he was aware there was some confusion over where people could drive - it was to work, if the person was travelling to what is officially deemed an essential job; to the supermarket; or to receive medical assistance.

People can use their cars to get to travel to a local park for exercise, but they could not be driving across town, Bush said.

After ushering New Zealand into historic lockdown, Government leaders will now clamp down on anyone looking to take advantage of the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

It comes as the number of global cases reaches half a million people, with more than 22,000 deaths. The coronavirus has now killed more than 1000 people in the United States, a toll that is increasing at an alarming rate. Both Italy and the US are likely to surpass China's overall number of cases.

A record-shattering 3.3 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits in just one week as the virus hits the world economy.

After the first day of lockdown in New Zealand - and despite most people following rules and recommendations - the message from authorities became sterner.

• If you continue to breach the lockdown rules that's obstruction of police, says Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

• If you don't pass on the wage subsidy scheme on to your staff that's fraud, says Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

• If you're a landlord and you unfairly threaten your tenant, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wants your name.

• And if you don't play your part and stay home to break the chain of Covid-19, lives could be lost, says Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.