'Major security operation' planned for Christchurch mosque shooter sentencing, police say

2:53 pm on 20 August 2020

There will be an increased police presence around Christchurch for the sentencing of the mosque gunman.

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Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Brenton Tarrant will be sentenced in the High Court next week for the murder of 51 people at two Christchurch mosques in March last year.

The hearing is expected to take four days.

The Christchurch Law Courts is prepared to host more than 200 visitors at the hearing as many victims and their families will attend in person.

Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price said police had worked closely with other agencies to prepare for the sentencing.

"This is an unprecedented event with a large number of victims and their families expected to attend court," he said.

"A number of them will read victim impact statements in court or have them read on their behalf.

"A major security operation has been planned to help ensure the safety of everyone involved."

Extra security will be present at the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct/Te Omeka, along with parking restrictions and barriers at nearby Tuam and Lichfield streets.

The usual court screening measures will occur for those entering the court, but police are encouraging people to leave bags at home.

Police front counter services at the justice precinct will be suspended for the duration of the sentencing hearing.

Papanui and Christchurch South police stations will also extend their front counter hours until 9pm, and people can still call 105, or in an emergency, 111.

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