Two people have been fined after personally delivering offensive anti-vaccination letters to various medical offices in Nelson.
Tasmania District Acting Commanding Detective Inspector Paul Borrell said that a small number of people had protested in front of the Nelson Police Station on the first day of closure and that the letters were understood to have come from the same group.
While the letters themselves did not constitute a criminal offense, he said the content was extremely distressing to the recipients.
The letters made reference to the non-consensual treatment of people by medical professionals in Germany after World War II.
“It was quite annoying for those who turned them in and our role is to keep our community safe and that includes investigating issues like this and holding those people accountable.”
The letters were personally delivered to three medical centers, which was a non-essential movement in violation of the current health order and notices of violation were issued.
Police have responded to other incidents in the Tasmania district since the Alert Level 4 restrictions first went into effect on August 17.
As of Aug. 29, 472 reports had been submitted to Service 105 regarding rule violations in the Tasmanian district, which covers Nelson Bays, Marlborough and the West Coast. Of these, 281 were about meetings, 135 about companies and 56 about people.
Borrell said police hadn’t had major issues with people not wearing masks while visiting essential services, but there were some issues with people traveling for non-essential purposes, including someone who was detained while heading south to Hanmer Springs. .
Last weekend, checkpoints were set up on the main roads into and out of Nelson to verify that those who were leaving and traveling for essential reasons, which were the majority.
Other than that, he said that residents throughout the Tasman district had been good.
“We are very interested in encouraging our community to follow the rules and overall they have been fantastic.”
Borrell said there was someone who brought the attention of the police to this blockade that had also caused problems during alert level 4 last year.
“We know that the message is out there and they are flagrant violations that we have no choice but to send infringement notices.”
Police respond to small protests across the country
Nineteen people have been arrested for disobeying alert level 4 rules during protests against the shutdown this morning.
Police say there were small gatherings in government and local council buildings across the country.
Six of the arrests occurred outside the Tauranga City Hall building, while in Auckland, four people were arrested outside Government House in Epsom.
There were also arrests in Hamilton, Whanganui, Kaikohe, Whangarei, Taupō, and Christchurch.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the protest is a normal feature of a well-functioning democracy, but that the police have little tolerance for people who deliberately ignore Covid-19 restrictions.