Added by Elivia DeVries on February 26, 2011
300 Australian police officers will be dispatched to New Zealand in order to help the country recover after the earthquake. The first groups of police officers will be sent to Christchurch to aid their counterparts.
The aid request was made by New Zealand’s government and, according to Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor, the first group sent to the earthquake devastated region will comprise of 25 officers from ACT Policing, another 25 from the AFP International Deployment Group and 5 more support personnel officers. The group has already left Canberra yesterday, February 25.
The Home Affairs Minister stated that once the group arrives to New Zealand, it’d be sworn in to the NZ police force, which will allow them to perform their duties under the country’s law. The first group will remain in New Zealand for a time period of two weeks and that they’ll bring with them all their necessities, such as water, food and tents.
“Their duties will primarily focus on local community policing, patrols and cordons of areas deemed too hazardous for people to safely enter. The 55 AFP officers won’t be directly involved in search and rescue and they won’t be armed,” said Mr O’Connor.
Mr Brendan O’Connor also said that other groups comprising 116 officers from the Victorian Police and 32 South Australian officers will be heading to New Zealand in the upcoming days.