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Police prepare for new era in New Zealand sport

Police prepare for new era in New Zealand sport

Two senior members of the ICC Anti-corruption Unit visited New Zealand last week as part of police’s preparation for the introduction of the Crimes (Match-fixing) Amendment Bill.

Martin Vertigen and John Rhodes briefed senior police officers from around the country about the anti-corruption unit and how it works to protect the integrity of international cricket.

The government hopes to pass the Crimes (Match-fixing) Amendment Bill in December to help address match-fixing risks, including any presented byNew Zealand’s upcoming hosting of the Cricket World Cup and the FIFA Under 20 (football) World Cup in 2015.

Spt.

Sandra Manderson, National Operation Commander for Cricket World Cup 2015 and the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, said the Bill will open a new frontier for policing in New Zealand.

“Police will now have greater powers to investigate corruption in sport in the same way that we investigate other criminal activity,” Spt.

Manderson said.

“Investigators from around the country are under-going specialist training and we already have operational guidelines in place to support the legislation.”

In August Police and Customs conducted a live exercise at Auckland International Airport to test the ability of staff to deal with potential match-fixers trying to enter the country.

Multiple trans-tasman working groups have also been set up to facilitate communication between Australian and New Zealand security and law enforcement agencies.

“We are building up a strong intelligence picture in preparation for Cricket World Cup,” Spt.

Manderson said.

“This will help us identify persons of interest before they arrive in New Zealand.”

Spt.

Manderson said dealing with domestic corruption in sport will require co-operation from multiple agencies and support from the players themselves. An inter-agency group has been set up to help achieve this, led by Sport NZ.

The Crimes (Match-fixing) Amendment Bill is part of a package of measures introduced by the government to help preserve and foster the integrity of sport. Other measures include the introduction of the / //New Zealand Policy on Sports Match-Fixing and Related Corruption/ and the development of
education resources.

Heath Mills, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association said that the sporting community can’t wait for the new legislation to come into effect.

“This new legislation will definitely help in protecting our local and international athletes and assist in the broader fight against match fixing.

This blight on sport worldwide is masterminded by international criminal organisations and will only be solved by the active engagement of government and police agencies around the world.

It’s good to see New Zealand is playing its part with the introduction of this new legislation.” Mr Mills said.

“Importantly, we believe this is a crucial step in maintaining the reputation and integrity of sport in New Zealand.

The Players’ Associations are looking forward to working with the government, Sport NZ, the Police and other partner agencies to make this legislation work and to put in place expert education programmes that help to protect our athletes wherever they might be plying their trade around the
world.”

ENDS

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