Cops stop carrying batons in parliament, concern over children at protest

Police officers who earlier Friday carried batons in parliament removed them after it was decided the measure was not in line with “the current approach”.

In a Friday afternoon update, Wellington District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell said police were continuing to “explore options to resolve the disruption to local businesses and allow free and safe movement in the area. city”.

All protesters in Parliament were raped on Thursday, but not all left, with some camping overnight and staying put on Friday.

New barriers were put up between protesters and the Parliament forecourt on Friday and police who previously carried batons had them removed.

It comes as 122 arrests were made on Thursday, including two more overnight for “alcohol-related behaviour” among members of the protest group.

Parnell said it is important to note that policing on the grounds of Parliament continues to take a “measured approach”.

“Images and videos shared online often do not provide the full context of protest activity and the difficult situation police personnel are facing,” he said.

Parnell said police have identified a range of different causes and motivations among protesters, making it difficult to open clear and meaningful lines of communication.

“Misinformation, particularly on social media, has been identified as a problem.

“Some factions are actively promoting false advice on people’s rights and police powers, which is misleading and factually incorrect.

“For example, the use of a particular word or phrase by an individual will not affect the arrest of anyone involved in illegal activity.”

Under the Police Act 2008, anyone arrested and taken into custody must provide their name, age, date of birth and address, Parnell said. They must also let the police take their photo and fingerprints.

“It is an offense not to comply with these requests.

“Police are also concerned that people are encouraging children to be brought to the protest site to support their efforts.”

The protest against the Covid-19 vaccine mandate outside Parliament entered its fourth day on Friday, with police preparing for protests to continue through the weekend.

On Thursday, two police officers were injured during the protest and 150 more officers were brought in on top of the 900 officers in Wellington.

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