Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Police must tackle unlawful checkpoints

“Despite the relaxed attitude of the Government, Police must start tackling unlawful COVID-19 checkpoints”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Iwi leaders across the country are taking the law into their own hands by setting up ‘community checkpoints’ supposedly to protect people from COVID-19.

“We’ve heard numerous stories about members of the public being stopped and detained. A 70-year-old man in the Bay of Plenty couldn't get past a checkpoint to buy milk and was told to go home. A couple was detained in Kaikohe.

“Just as concerning is the Government’s relaxed attitude.

“On the Mike Hosking Breakfast this morning, the Prime Minister said she had ‘sympathy’ for iwi groups. Police Minister Stuart Nash has said he is ‘comfortable for them to happen’ under certain circumstances.

“But members of the public feel unsafe and intimidated by these groups.

“If there’s a need for the checkpoints, Police are the appropriate authority to operate them. If there isn’t, they shouldn’t exist.

“Police wouldn’t tolerate members of the public setting up rogue checkpoints to catch drink-drivers and they shouldn’t allow iwi to do the same.

“With checkpoints beginning in the Taranaki today, Police must start taking the issue seriously and stop iwi taking the law into their own hands.”