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Police Consider Legal Position in Relation to Occupy Dunedin

Police Consider Legal Position in Relation to Occupy Dunedin


Police say they are considering the legal position in relation the Dunedin City Council's trespass order served on the Occupy Dunedin protesters yesterday.

"Any power to trespass people protesting in a public place must be exercised reasonably and balance rights and freedoms. These are the issues that we are currently working through with the council," said Dunedin/Clutha Area Commander, Inspector Greg Sparrow.

"We understand the wider community's frustration and recognise the competing interests who use this space. However we live in a democracy and we need to be sure that any power to trespass people protesting in a public space is exercised reasonably and lawfully."

While the protest activity has been on-going for some days, this may not in itself provide a sufficient basis to justify arresting and charging those involved with offences under the Trespass Act. It is important that Police work through the issues at hand and give them careful consideration, Inspector Sparrow said.

"This is a public space and legally, it is not simply a straightforward matter of police visiting the site and removing people from it," Inspector Sparrow said.

"The Dunedin community should be re-assured that Police are working with the council to consider all options to resolve the situation," he said.


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