Police: most Southlanders abiding by rules

Despite some reports of Covid-19 lockdown breaches, "most Southlanders are abiding by the rules", Inspector Jon Bisset says.

After nearly two weeks since the move to Alert Level 4, police had experienced a small number of people not taking the restrictions seriously.

He said there would be an increased police presence around Southland due to resources being re-purposed following the lockdown of schools and many businesses.

A lot of resources had been shifted to where police anticipated that there would be "peaks in demand."

"We’ve really tried to have a highly-visible police presence out in the community as well as around our commercial premises to look after people while we’re on lockdown."

Officers would be spending more time around supermarkets to engage with the community and provide people with some reassurance.

He also confirmed a "slight rise in family harm calls-to-service".

"Nothing outside of what we wouldn’t have predicted and nothing that we haven’t prepared for in advance, so [we] were really well-placed to respond."

In order to keep police safe on the job, staff had been issued with full personal protective equipment [PPE].

"They’ve been provided with everything they need to scale up or down depending on the job.

"Our officers are well versed on conducting risk assessments when it comes to how much of the kit they use."

One of the main messages was the need to avoid non-essential travel, he said. Emergency services need to be kept free for the Covid-19 response.

This meant not travelling to the beach house or visiting a family member and applied throughout the Easter holiday period, he said.

In Oamaru police attended four family harm incidents on Monday night.

Senior Sergeant Jason McCoy said it was disappointing family harm incidents were continuing in lockdown.

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