Five Arrests For Breach Of COVID-19 Restrictions
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster:
Police have today made a small number of arrests to help ensure community safety and limit any potential further spread of COVID-19.
Officers in Christchurch this afternoon arrested three people allegedly involved in an anti-lockdown protest.
A group of 10 people gathered on the Bridge of Remembrance on Cashel Street about 1pm.
Police engaged and encouraged the protestors to comply with Alert Level 4 restrictions, however, three were taken into custody when they refused to do so.
Two men, aged 46 and 50, and a woman, aged 56, have been charged with failing to comply with a direction/prohibition/restriction (COVID-19).
They are expected to appear in Christchurch District Court tomorrow morning.
Today’s protest follows a similar gathering yesterday at the same location.
In that instance, two people were issued warnings.
Meanwhile, two people were arrested in the Far North after refusing to comply with the requirement to wear a face covering.
Police responded to the incident at Pak N Save Kaitaia about 12.30pm today.
Two people were acting in a disorderly manner toward supermarket staff and other members of the public while refusing to wear a face covering.
A 44-year-old man and 23-year-old woman were arrested for disorderly behaviour and breaching the Public Health Response Act. The woman was also reportedly behaving in a threatening manner.
While the actions of these five people are disappointing, Police continue to see a high level of compliance from New Zealanders under Alert level 4.
We all know what’s expected of us by now and that it takes a collective effort to stop COVID-19 in its tracks.
Our communities are largely respecting the requirement to wear a face covering at essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies, and Police will remain out and about conducting compliance checks and reassurance patrols.
We would like to remind the public that while Police will be taking an education-first approach, as we’ve seen over the last couple of days, enforcement action will be taken when necessary.
Lastly, motorists are urged to take care on the roads. That means avoiding unnecessary travel to reduce congestion, particularly around COVID-19 testing sites, and resisting the temptation of quieter roads by adhering to the speed limit.
Alert Level 4 is in place to protect us all and we need everyone to do their part.