Otago police officers sent to help in Wellington

Police officers from Otago were sent to join their North Island colleagues at the Parliament protest and occupation in Wellington, although yesterday it was in the process of being shut down.

It is not clear how many from the Southern Police District were seconded but it appears a group from the Wanaka station were sent up last week, and it is understood officers from other areas including Dunedin were transferred to the capital.

Constable Calvin Bopp, writing in the Wanaka police Crimeline newsletter this week, said the number of Wanaka police officers in Wellington showed the area had been "punching above their weight" when compared to total area staff numbers.

A police spokeswoman said "operational reasons" meant she could not confirm how many officers from the South had been working on the line at the Parliament protests.

"Additional resources have been deployed from around the country to support the operation and assist staff at Parliament grounds, and to ensure public safety. We are unable to confirm specifics regarding the staff involved for operational reasons," the spokeswoman said.

Otago Lakes Central area commander Paula Enoka was asked about her officers’ experiences in Wellington, but a police spokesman said they were not in a position to set up interviews.

Constable Bopp said officers had been sent to support their colleagues in some atrocious conditions.

"This is cool to hear because it means that our community have police who not only care about their own towns, but also with keeping the public safe in other places as well as supporting out of town colleagues. Just wanted to share that with you guys," he said.

marjorie.cook@odt.co.nz

 

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