Police will not tolerate disorderly behaviour

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Police will not tolerate disorderly behaviour following this weekend’s rugby league game”

Please attribute to Inspector Wendy Spiller, Counties Manukau East Area Commander

Police will be out in force on the streets of Auckland on Saturday night in an effort to keep the public safe and prevent any disorder incidents, following Saturday evening’s Rugby League World Cup semi-final match between Tonga and England.

Over the past few weeks, Police have been dealing with a number of disorder events following Tongan league games on the streets of South Auckland, particularly around the Otahuhu Town Centre.

Counties Manukau East Area Commander, Inspector Wendy Spiller, says on two occasions police officers have been attacked while trying to manage and contain the disorder.

In one incident last weekend in Otahuhu, a female police officer from Counties Manukau was king-hit and knocked unconscious by a male, who then disappeared into the crowd.

“Police will not tolerate this violent and cowardly behaviour,” says Inspector Spiller.

“Our hard-working staff come to work every day to keep our communities safe, and the last thing they deserve is to be attacked or harmed.”

Inspector Spiller says the injured officer is yet to return to work but is making a good recovery.

“Someone out there knows who is responsible.

We will do everything we can to identify the offender and hold them to account,” says Inspector Spiller.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Counties Manukau Police on 09 261 1300 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A second police officer who was struck in the face with a flagpole in a separate disorder incident several weeks ago, has only been able to perform light duties since returning to work.

Police have arrested a male in relation to this incident.

With a large number of people expected to take part in festivities over the weekend, Inspector Spiller says Police will have additional staff on duty to monitor crowd behaviour and ensure the safety of the public.

There is an alcohol ban in and around the Otahuhu Town Centre and this will be strictly enforced with Police adopting a zero tolerance approach to any violent or reckless behaviour.

“We want people to keep themselves safe.

People acting recklessly and putting themselves and others at harm by riding on vehicles or setting off fireworks in crowded areas will not be tolerated.

“It is important that excited fans do not block streets stopping traffic.

This puts themselves and others at risk and, dangerously, prevents access for vital emergency services, while also causing significant disruption for members of the public.”

There is likely to be significant congestion around the Otahuhu Town Centre on Saturday night and accordingly, detours may be in place to manage the flow of traffic.

Expect extended travel time delays so please consider alternate routes if you are looking to travel through Otahuhu on Saturday night.

“We know that the vast majority or supporters have good intentions and we encourage them to show their support and passion for their team without preventing emergency services from responding to their high risk demand or impeding others going about their normal business.”

Inspector Spiller says it’s disappointing that a small number of people have chosen to take the opportunity to intentionally cause trouble and disorder, which takes the attention off the great achievements on the field.

“We will have a significant police presence in the area and will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to any behaviour which puts members of our community or our staff in danger.”

ENDS

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