Police considering prosecuting organisers of illegal anti-lockdown rally in Auckland

Police considering prosecuting organisers of illegal anti-lockdown rally in Auckland

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A Police spokesperson said to thisquality in a statement they are considering prosecuting organisers of an illegal anti-lockdown rally that occurred at Auckland Domain, Saturday.

The event amassing over a thousand people happened under Covid-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions. The number of attendees that attended could be cause for the spread of the Delta variant, raising fears.

According to the government's directive under these settings listed on the Unite Against COVID-19 website, it states; “At Alert Level 3, we all need to stay home. Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow the rules to keep everyone safe.

“Events cannot go ahead. The only gatherings allowed at Alert Level 3 are weddings, civil unions, funerals and tangihanga — up to a maximum of 10 people.”

The Police spokesperson said to thisquality authorities are disappointed that the large gathering was “not in accordance with the health orders,” and “at this stage there have been no arrests or infringements issued.”

“The lack of the participants staying two metres apart is a concern. Police are now considering prosecution options.”

Police respect the lawful right to protest, but the illegal gathering has posed a serious risk to those attending, and it also puts Police staff and the wider community at greater risk of the Delta variant spreading in the community.

“While many attendees did wear masks and show some moderate distance, many others gathered did not wear a face-covering or maintain social distancing,” the Police spokesperson said.

“A prevention-first approach [was taken for] the gathering, by engaging with organisers ahead of the day, and then deploying staff to monitor the situation and take action, if necessary.”

Image: SUPPLIED/Destiny Chruch Brian Tamaki

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