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Police open overseas terrorism liaison offices

Police open overseas terrorism liaison offices

New Zealand has opened Police terrorism liaison offices in Washington DC and London, Police Minister George Hawkins announced today.

Attached to the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC and High Commission in London, the offices were opened last week by Police Commissioner Rob Robinson, Mr Hawkins said.

Embassy and High Commission representatives along with members of local and overseas law enforcement intelligence agencies, attended the openings.

The offices will be staffed in Washington DC by Detective Superintendent Peter Marshall, formerly of Auckland, and in London by Detective Superintendent Bill Bishop, previously based in Wellington. Their appointments are for two years.

Mr Hawkins said the posts represented a key Government initiative in the fight against terrorism.

“Coinciding with the first anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, the offices demonstrate New Zealand’s commitment to working with international anti-terrorism and criminal intelligence agencies to boost New Zealand security,” Mr Hawkins said.

While there was no current evidence this country was being targeted, the situation was constantly monitored.

“The appointment of two senior police officers to these offices is an important step in keeping New Zealand ahead of any likely terrorist threat or development,” Mr Hawkins said.

Since September 11 last year, 26 additional police have been placed at New Zealand’s international airports to enhance aviation security, and an intelligence and investigation group is in the process of being established, he said.

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