Police anticipate some CWC border problems

12:40 pm on 12 February 2015

Police say problems at the border will be their biggest challenge during the Cricket World Cup, which officially opens in Christchurch this evening.

Two years of planning have gone into policing the event, in which 14 nations will play 49 games during the next six weeks.

The 300 volunteers working in Christchurch during the Cricket World Cup will direct spectators to parking and to their seats.

Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Photo: RNZ / Patrick Phelps

In the jointly-hosted competition, 23 games will be played in New Zealand, and 26 in Australia.

Joint visas have been issued specifically for visitors, although a number of visas have been declined, including those for known match-fixers.

The National Commander of Operation Cricket World Cup, Superintendent Sandra Manderson, said they were working with a number of agencies, including Immigration New Zealand and Interpol.

Superintendent Manderson said there was no indication of any terror risk, but police have a planned response if something does happen.

She said CCTV coverage had also been bulked up, with images being beamed back to districts and a national centre in Wellington.

Extra security measures will also be introduced at Cricket World Cup sites after computers were stolen in a burglary in Christchurch.

Five laptops used by International Cricket Council officials were stolen from a building very close to Hagley Oval where the opening World Cup match will be held on Saturday.

Head of the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand Therese Walsh said the laptops were being used to issue accreditation passes.

However she said the theft did not undermine the accreditation system and there was no information on the computers which could identify individual volunteers.

Ms Walsh said police were confident it was just a minor burglary, though they would still be increasing security at Cricket World Cup sites.

She said the incident should be kept in perspective and was minor compared to some issues that events on this scale can encounter such as terrorism or match fixing.

The opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup is being held in Christchurch's North Hagley Park at 6.30pm today.