Fifty people arrested during lockdown
After a week at Alert Level 4 Police would like to thank New Zealanders for staying home and helping to limit the spread of Covid-19.
This is a challenging time for us all but we know staying home saves lives, says Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.
Coster says over the past week the vast majority of New Zealanders have done the right thing by diligently following Alert Level 4 restrictions.
"It’s important we keep that up and police will continue to be out and about engaging with our communities, conducting reassurance patrols and, where necessary, taking enforcement action."
As of 5pm yesterday, 50 people have been charged with a total of 54 offences nationwide since Alert Level 4 began.
Coster says these arrests are primarily the result of protest activity and other intentional breaches of restrictions.
Of the 54 charges filed, 28 are for Failing to Comply with Order (Covid-19), 16 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction and 10 for Health Act Breaches.
In the same time period, 154 formal warnings were issued – 56 for Failing to Comply with Order (Covid-19), 54 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction and 44 for Health Act Breaches.
"Police began issuing infringements for Covid-19-related breaches on Thursday, August 19, and, as of 5pm yesterday, 686 infringements have been issued nationwide.
In Kaitaia overnight, a man and a woman were arrested following an incident at a petrol station, says Coster.
"The pair were seen without masks, as is required at all essential services.
"The man refused to provide his details while the woman became verbally abusive and physically obstructed officers carrying out their duties.
"She then allegedly coughed over one officer, before assaulting another."
The 31-year-old woman is facing numerous charges including Assaulting Police, Resisting Police, Obstructing Policing and Failing to Comply with Order (Covid-19).
The 27-year-old man is facing charges of Obstructing Police and Failing to Comply with Order (Covid-19).
Coster says both were expected to appear in the Kaitaia District Court today.
In Christchurch, two people came to police attention for breaching Alert Level 4 restrictions and driving-related offences.
A 26-year-old man is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday 1 September charged with Driving in a Dangerous Manner, Driving with Excess Breath Alcohol and Failing to Comply with Order (Covid-19).
"Another driver was issued an infringement notice for breaching restrictions after a vehicle struck several parked cars near the intersection of Grenville Street and Ensors Road about 2am.
"The driver as uninjured and Police are considering further charges.
"These types of incidents are incredibly disappointing and create unnecessary and unacceptable risk for us all.
"While we continue to take an education-first approach, Police will not hesitate to take enforcement action for deliberate and blatant breaches."
Police have now received a total of 8228 online breach notifications – 4951 about a gathering, 2517 about a business, and 760 about an individual.
In addition to the online breach notifications, a total of 5544 Covid-19 related calls were made to the 105 phone line.
The majority (3957) of calls were requests for information, and 1587 were to report perceived Covid-19 breaches.
Under Alert Level 4 there are no borders in place however travel is restricted to essential purposes, says Coster.
"As an extension of previous patrols and roving checkpoints, Northland Police have today established three fixed checkpoints at the southern entrances to the region.
"Anyone attempting to travel into Northland should expect to be stopped randomly or at a checkpoint, and asked about their purpose for travel."
Further information about travel at Alert Level 4 can be found at: www.covid19.govt.nz