Police pleased with compliance under Alert Level 4
Police across the country are pleased with how well New Zealanders are responding to the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions currently in place.
"Reporting data and observations from our staff yesterday and overnight shows that the vast majority of people know what the rules are and are sticking to them," says Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.
Since online breach reporting began at midnight on 17 August to 5pm yesterday, Police received 684 Online Breach Notifications in total.
About a third of those were from the Auckland area.
Of those reports, 322 were about a gathering, 320 about a business and 42 about an individual.
In the same period Police have carried out more than 2500 tasks relating to Alert Level 4 restrictions, including reassurance visits to essential facilities, patrols, and checks following reports about people, businesses and gatherings potentially in breach.
Police will assess every notification received and follow up where required, says Coster.
"We thank those who have been in contact to make a report or pass on their concerns about potential breach activity.
"Police will be taking an education-first approach around the new requirement to wear a face covering at essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies.
"This means encouraging people to do the right thing for themselves, their loved ones and their community."
However, enforcement action will be taken where necessary for the safety of everyone, warns Coster.
"We want to ensure people understand that all New Zealanders have a role to play in keeping each other safe, especially given the serious danger of the Delta variant.
"Repeated breaches or refusal to comply with Police will result in enforcement, either through infringement notices, or arrests and court action if necessary.
"This is not the first time we have faced tough Covid-19 restrictions, but thanks to the cooperation of the vast majority of New Zealanders since the beginning of the pandemic last year, the time we’ve spent under strict restriction has been limited."
Coster says people should know what the rules are by now, and why it is so important to follow them, particularly when it comes to unlawful gatherings and repeated breaches of restrictions.
He says those in breach put the safety of all New Zealanders at risk, and they can expect that Police will act early and quickly to enforce compliance.
Following a protest in Auckland yesterday, two men, aged 49 and 36, were due to appear in Auckland District Court today, each facing two charges under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, and one charge under the Search and Surveillance Act 2021.
A 52-year-old woman also arrested is due to appear in Auckland District Court on 25 August facing one charge under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, and one charge under the Search and Surveillance Act 2021.
Of the four people arrested during protest activity in Tauranga yesterday, three were issued with formal warnings, says Coster.
A 56-year-old woman is due to appear in Tauranga District Court on August 23 facing one charge under the Health Act 1956.
"Police reiterate that so far we have seen the overwhelming majority of people doing the right thing, staying at home and keeping themselves, their whānau and communities safe by doing so.
"Where, however, people engage in activity that endangers public safety during this outbreak, police will respond quickly and decisively to prevent any risk to our communities."