Lockdown breachers to face tougher enforcement

Andrew Coster. Photo: RNZ.

Police are pleased with the public’s overall response to Alert Level 4 restrictions over the weekend.

"By and large New Zealanders continue to recognise the importance of these restrictions for the health and wellbeing of us all," says Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.

"Now is not the time to throw caution to the wind or take unnecessary risks. Police will not tolerate behaviour that deliberately jeopardises everyone’s efforts to date.

"We all know the rules by now so the public can expect Police to move from education through to enforcement more quickly in these circumstances."

Examples of Alert Level 4 breaches over the weekend include a report of poachers on farmland at Totora Flat in Grey District.

Officers responded and located two men in a vehicle, one of whom admitted hunting.

An unloaded firearm was also found in the vehicle.

Enquiries are underway to determine whether charges will be filed.

Across Auckland, Police at checkpoints observed reasonably low levels of traffic however motorists were turned around for a range of reasons including exercising or shopping outside their neighbourhood and attempting to visit family or friends.

Other creative reasons for non-essential and long-distance travel around the country included needing to fix a shower, buying a puppy, delivering fish to a friend, getting “better quality meat”, and going for a Sunday drive.

Meanwhile in Wellington roving Police patrols yesterday turned around a number of motorists who travelled to Pauatahanui inlet to see a pod of visiting orca.

Compliance update

As of 5pm on Sunday, 107 people have been charged with a total of 115 offences nationwide since Alert Level 4 restrictions began.

Of the charges filed, 75 are for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 26 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, 11 for Health Act Breaches, and three for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.

In the same time period, 293 people were warned for 295 offences – 109 for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 101 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction and 85 for Health Act Breaches.

Since August 19  2021, Police have been issuing infringements for COVID-19 related breaches.

As at 5pm on August 28 2021, Police have issued 2179 infringements nationwide.

• Person failed to remain at current home / residence – 2018

• Person failed to wear a face covering on premises – 41

• Person failed to comply with applicable physical distancing rule – 62

• Obstruct/Hinder Medical Officer of Health or Person Assisting Med Officer/Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19) – 25

• Person failed to wear a face covering on public transport – 6

• Person in control of premises failed to close as required – 6

• Person in control of workplace failed to display QR code – 13

• Person organised a gathering in an outdoor place – 8

Police have now received a total of 12,674 online breach notifications – 7873 about a gathering, 3603 about a business, and 1198 about an individual.

In addition to the online breach notifications, a total of 7899 COVID-19 related calls were made to the 105-phone line.

The majority (5606) of calls were requests for information, and 2293 were to report perceived COVID-19 breaches.

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