Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Clover Park resident says lockdown breaches are ‘out of control’

A frustrated Clover Park resident says locals are continually breaching lockdown, but the police aren’t enforcing alert level 3 restrictions after multiple complaints.

Craig Bridewell said breaches include residents holding parties with friends and people not wearing masks in public while meeting up with friends.

“I have called the police 105 number twice regarding this, but their only response was to email them,” he said.

“This is happening every day. I have seen police officers drive past a park with 20-30 kids playing basketball and they drive on. While my next door neighbour has friends around all the time to party – it’s so frustrating.

“It’s totally out of control.”

Clover Park is one of the suburbs of interest, which also includes Henderson, Papakura, Clover Park, Māngere, Favona, Manurewa, Mount Wellington/Sylvia Park and Red Beach. Hotspots where there are known clusters and unlinked cases.

Local Democracy Reporting met Bridewell at a local basketball court at Manukau Sports Bowl on Tuesday, where a group of 10 young men, without masks, were playing basketball.

They claimed to be from the same bubble, but Bridewell said it was a sign of the ongoing local breaches.

“If the lockdown was respected we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Bridewell said.

Auckland Manukau ward councillor and former police officer Alf Filipaina agreed some are flouting the rules.

“You can talk until you are blue in the face, but the message just isn’t getting through,” he said. “But what if you infected one of your family members and they ended up in the ICU?”

Filipaina said alert level restrictions have been built on public goodwill and the police can’t be expected to be everywhere at all times to enforce lockdown.

Inspector Scott Gemmell from the Counties Manukau Police said since alert level 3 came into effect it has received a total of 2,531 105-online breach notifications for people in Tāmaki Makaurau and parts of Waikato.

He said police do their best to respond and proactively educate and enforce the rules, but said there are limits to what officers can respond to.

“We are reliant on our community doing the right thing and following the rules.”

The south Auckland suburb hit the headlines last month after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called on all Clover Park residents to get tested for Covid-19, whether symptomatic or not.

Ardern said Clover Park was not a large geographical area, but one where enough cases had been reported to encourage officials to take action.

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