Police armed with iron fist and velvet glove during lockdown

Police nationwide are out in their communities enforcing lockdown restrictions, and also providing reassurance patrols.

Lyttelton police Sergeant John Moody and his station team of four have been providing daily reassurance patrols in the Banks Peninsula from Lyttelton around the bays to Diamond Harbour, as well as over the hill and into Sumner.

The police presence is to reassure people they are there and are available to help out if needed.

"We have been visiting essential businesses that are able to stay open during the level four lockdown, such as supermarkets, service centres and dairies in the area," he said.

"We are reassuring people, letting businesses know what to do in different situations, educating and observing, and providing an overall police presence."

Police are on patrol to check compliance with lockdown restrictions - plus provide reassurance...
Police are on patrol to check compliance with lockdown restrictions - plus provide reassurance for business owners and the community. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Moody said the patrols started on day one of lockdown and have continued since, as part of a nationwide initiative.

Supervalue Lyttelton is one of the businesses Moody and his team have visited, with store manager Rob De Thier describing the  was "very good and very reassuring".

"The police asked how we were getting on and if we had any issues," he said.

"Luckily, although we have been very busy, Lyttelton people aren't panic buying, and we really thank the community for this."

De Thier said they had only seen a few people coming in not wearing masks, but they had a box of disposable masks available for customers to use.

Four Square Diamond Harbour owner James Grant said the store had also been visited by police.

"It is very reassuring to see the police out and about," he said.

During the lockdown, Moody said his station had paused inquiries and investigations as their primary focus was on priority events and reassurance patrols.

"We have paused some lines of work so as not to put ourselves and others at risk, doing visits when we don't have to," he said.

Moody said few lockdown breaches had been reported so far and most people in his team's area were sticking to the rules.

"I am really happy with everyone's efforts," he said.

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