4 Mar 2021

Covid-19: Police prosecuting rule breaches, but not called in over people defying isolation orders

From Morning Report, 7:20 am on 4 March 2021

The police have now prosecuted nearly 1000 Covid-19 related breaches, but are not being called upon to take action against people defying isolation or testing orders.

Recent violations have stoked public anger and plunged Auckland back into lockdown, but the government won't be chasing people down.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says if people refuse to self isolate or get tested, the police can only act if they get a referral from health officials, who are the best placed to make those calls.

But police are prosecuting alert level rule breaches like illegal mass gatherings and regional border breaches.

Wellington tops the list with 197, followed by Canterbury with 158, then Counties Manukau with 125.

Political editor Jane Patterson has this report.