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Restitution a matter between police and protester

21 February, 2004

Restitution for damage a matter between police and protester

A $35 clean-up bill for damage caused to an electorate office by an anti-Civil Union campaigner was a matter between the police and that protester, says Dunedin South MP David Benson-Pope.

Mr Benson-Pope says a complaint was laid with the Police over damage caused to his electorate office that was twice plastered in protest flyers. That complaint was laid by Mr Benson-Pope's electorate secretary, who told police she would be happy to let the matter rest if those who caused the damage paid the $35 clean-up bill.

"That is where I left the matter," said Mr Benson-Pope. "The protest was a political stunt and the taxpayer certainly should not have been left paying for the cleanup.

"I imagine the Police, in considering whether to lay charges, considered the willingness of the protester to pay for the damage he caused. However, I certainly cannot comment on any arrangements made between the Police and the protester over restitution for damage because I was not a party to those discussions.

"I can confirm an envelope containing a cheque for $35 was received at the electorate office and I note from media reports that the partner of the protester acknowledges delivering this by hand to my electorate office.

"It surprises and disappoints me that these people don't take any responsibility for the mess they caused," Mr Benson-Pope said.


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