A mother who encouraged her children to flout level 3 lockdown rules at an Auckland playground then filmed herself berating two police officers who tried to explain the rules.
The video, which the woman posted to social media, shows her criticising police for intervening after reports of children tearing down police tape at a playground.
Police were called to the incident in Browns Bay just after 4pm yesterday after reports a woman cut the warning tape off the playground so children could use it.
A woman who appeared to be encouraging her children to roll up the tape captured one video.
Under the current Covid-19 alert level 3 in Auckland, playgrounds are closed to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
In one video, another woman approaches the children to ask what they are doing when their mum yells “please don’t speak to my children”.
“I think that’s very unfair for you to do that,” the woman says to the mum.
The mum yells back: “They shouldn’t have put the tape up.”
In a separate video, the mum films police as they intervene to try to get the children off the playground.
She tells the male police officer not to get close to her and to stop being intimidating.
“Choose your side, buddy. Freedom or communism,” she tells a male police officer.
The police officer says: “We’ve had a report that you cut the tape off, so if we hear any more reports of you behaving like that, we will come and see you again.”
Police today said the video of the woman berating officers showed only part of the interaction after the officers tried to explain the rules.
“The woman would not comply with repeated requests not to allow her children to use the playground,” a police spokeswoman said.
“And, given the presence of children, the officers decided that they did not want to cause any further upset to them.”
She police were focusing on engagement and education and reminding members of the public of current restrictions in place.
But she said police still had the option of taking enforcement action, especially when people deliberately or repeatedly breached restrictions.
“Police have identified the woman and are making further inquiries to locate her and speak with her today,” the spokeswoman added.
She said since the incident, the officers had been advised they should wear appropriate personal protective equipment when dealing with members of the public.
“However, they were in a difficult position weighing up what was the most appropriate course of action given the circumstances.”
Police said from 6am Sunday to 6pm Wednesday, 917 notifications of possible alert level 3 restriction breaches in Auckland were received.
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