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Minister commends Police quake response

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Police

9 March 2011

Minister commends Police quake response

Police Minister Judith Collins today commended New Zealand and overseas Police for their thorough and professional response to the 22 February Christchurch earthquake.

“When disaster struck, the swift and professional response of our Police was instrumental in saving lives, maintaining order and providing reassurance and comfort to the people of Christchurch,” Ms Collins said.

More than 1200 Police officers from Christchurch, Canterbury, around the country and abroad have been deployed in the city. In addition, 75 staff from Police National Headquarters have been providing response co-ordination, intelligence, logistics and communications management.

A further 32 staff in Palmerston North have been providing support with data collation and missing person enquiries.

“The Police’s involvement has extended across a wide range of activities including the rescue of injured victims immediately following the quake, evacuation of those remaining at risk, reassurance policing and family liaison.

“They have also taken a key communications and planning role, alongside other agencies, in the wake of the disaster.”

Police Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) teams have been working around the clock to identify victims of the Christchurch earthquake and return them to families.

“Everyone involved is working extremely hard and is absolutely committed to establishing the identities of victims as quickly and accurately as possible,” Ms Collins said.

“They know how very important their work is in providing certainty for those whose loved ones who have been missing since the earthquake.”

More than 430 Police and specialist personnel from countries such as Australia, Singapore, China, Thailand, Japan, Israel and the United Kingdom have been carrying out a range of general policing functions, as well as providing specialist expertise for the DVI process.

“I would like to pay special tribute to the Police personnel from outside New Zealand who have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with our officers at the frontline of this crisis. Their work is very much appreciated,” Ms Collins said.

ENDS

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