Extra police for holiday spots over Xmas

Extra police will be on hand to patrol popular Christmas getaway spots in Omarama and Otematata this year.

With hundreds of holiday campers expected to de-camp from Oamaru to the Waitaki lakes at Christmas, four additional officers would be on duty between Boxing Day and into the new year to bolster police strength, Senior Constable Stewart Hewett, of Oamaru, said.

Snr Const Hewett said the additional measures, which would see one additional officer stationed at Omarama and three extra officers at Otematata, should be seen as preventive policing.

''We get a lot of people up there over Christmas and New Year. Really it's just about preventing problems rather than sorting them out later.''

He said the area had seen a spate of thefts from unsecured caravans and tents over the past couple of years, and police would be encouraging people to ensure their accommodation was secure before leaving it.

People should also ensure family homes were similarly secure before leaving for the area, he said.

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz