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Who will be held accountable for misuse of checkpoints?


Who will be held accountable for misuse of police checkpoints?


“People have the right to meet and discuss issues without fear of police harassment,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. “The admission that the police used a drink-driving check point to obtain the identities of people attending a meeting is deeply un-Kiwi.

“The police are given the power to set up checkpoints to combat drink driving, we do not give them powers for one purpose so they can abuse them for another. The Police Minister needs to explain why peaceful New Zealanders are being interrogated under false pretences.

“This is, at best, dodgy behaviour from the police or their superiors, but may also be illegal. Human rights lawyers have already raised concerns that it breaches the Human Rights Act.

“There is then the question of motive. Who was pushing for this surveillance, what was their motivation, and why were the Police Minister and solicitor general not aware of such a politically sensitive operation.

“If these individuals were responsible then they must be answerable, they cannot hide behind the usual excuse that it’s ‘police operations.’ Somebody has to be accountable.

“Anyone who’s recently been burgled or assaulted and hasn’t received timely police help will be wondering who is setting police priorities. People expect police resources to focus on real crimes, not to treat members of advocacy groups like gang members.”

ENDS

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