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Respect is key to a safe New Year’s Eve, says Commissioner

Respect is key to a safe New Year’s Eve, says Commissioner

Police’s three most senior officers hit the streets tonight to support thousands of staff working to keep people safe this New Year’s Eve.

Commissioner Peter Marshall goes out in Auckland City Police District; Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush will be with staff in Wellington, while Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard is working at the Rhythm and Vines music festival near Gisborne.

“We want people to enjoy themselves and have a good time, but be respectful to each other, and respectful to our staff,” says Commissioner Marshall.

Five police officers were attacked in four incidents in four days over Christmas.

“We have wonderful men and women working tonight who would otherwise be with their own families. Instead they’re going out to keep other people safe. I think New Zealand owes them a debt of gratitude for the 3,000 jobs they attend every day, and the thousands of incidents they prevent.”

Commissioner Marshall has worked every New Year’s Eve of his 40-year Police career, also going out when he was Commissioner of Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

“You see things after dark you don’t see from an office at Police National Headquarters,” he says.

Even after 40 years, the issues are much the same, he says. People, fuelled by alcohol, make silly mistakes. They either spoil it for themselves and others, or get reined in. “Our staff are often the deciding factor,” he says.

Commissioner Marshall begins his evening by attending a briefing at 9pm given by Auckland City Area Commander, Inspector Andrew Coster, and Senior Sergeant Wendy Spiller, Officer in Charge of the Team Policing Unit. He expects to finish the shift at 2am on New Year’s Day.

ENDS

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