Police may get tough if flouting of rules continues

As Police Commissioner Mike Bush called for an end to those flouting the rules of the Covid-19 lockdown — including freedom campers — the Dunedin City Council is still fielding reports of the campers in the city.

Three arrests had been made over persistent breaches of the rules, and if people were not complying with the Government’s rules, the police’s lenient approach could be revisited, Mr Bush said.

He took aim also at tourists who thought it was all right to continue to "drive around the country".

"Stay absolutely put. Stay in place," he said. "Stay where you are — that’s the rules."

Readers from near Ocean View Reserve sent photos to the Otago Daily Times at the weekend, stating the site was used every day.

And council parks and recreation group manager Robert West confirmed yesterday the council was still monitoring freedom camping across the city each evening.

"We have had some feedback about a small number of freedom campers still in the city [there were three vehicles over the weekend]," he said in an emailed response.

"We have followed up with each one of them."

People continuing to camp during the lockdown were asked to call the council to discuss alternative accommodation.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

What about "freedom police"? The police are STILL not routinely wearing masks, and far more likely to be spreading the virus than three vans (count them - three!) of freedom campers.

It's only a matter of time before we have a major outbreak in the police force.

The reason people in Asia wear masks is so that asymptomatic carriers of the virus do not transmit it to uninfected people. This virus has a long incubation period (up to 14 days) when you can feel perfectly well but be spreading the virus around to everyone you contact.

This is a basic biology fact that our police - and government - still seem unable to understand!

Start wearing masks every day if you are an "essential" service! Otherwise it's more likely than not that you are the problem!

If people break the law, arrest them. Tough.

Freedom camping is actually allowed if the sites are open, by 'self contained' campers -noting the guidelines do not state 'certified' and RCAi's communication with MBIE clarifying that is also for self contained only. Shame to see a large RV club pushing its agenda about this at this time of crisis. Many Councils have keep their freedom camping sites open as per Govt advice and guidelines.

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