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Money well spent keeping Kiwis safe in London

Money well spent keeping Kiwis safe in London

The cost of deploying five New Zealand Police liaison officers to the 2012 London Olympics is money well spent says Police Commissioner Peter Marshall.

"You can't put a price on ensuring the safety and welfare of Kiwis at a major event like the Olympics and the overnight fire at Kiwi House proves just that point."

"Two New Zealand Police liaison officers were quickly on the scene to assist local emergency services and ensure that all Kiwis caught up in this event were safe and accounted for."

"Through the relationships they'd established with NZOC, MFAT and the Metropolitan Police they were quickly able to provide the reassurance needed that our people were safe."

Five Police liaison staff are in the UK for the duration of the 2012 London Olympics. They are deployed around all the main venues where the games are taking place, including the sailing event in Weymouth. One will stay on for the Paralympics.

"We have deployed Police staff to previous Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and each year we deploy to the annual Gallipoli commemorations. The 2012 London Olympics is no different, with several thousand Kiwis known to be involved in some way.

"Of course we have done what we can to keep costs down but the reality of deploying to an event like this is that the costs will always be high. It is no holiday for our staff - they have worked long, hard hours devoted to ensuring the welfare of all Kiwis at the Olympics. Their work will continue until the games are over.

"The fact our staff have no constabular powers in London is irrelevant. Effective policing is about building the relationships needed to keep people safe. These relationships also ensure we can provide the best response if those Kiwis at the Olympics do need help. I'm pleased to say our staff in London have done a magnificent job at building these relationships.

"To those who question the money spent by Police on this operation I ask this: Would you rather we weren't there if, heaven forbid, the worst should happen involving your loved one, friend or colleague at the Olympics?"

ENDS

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