Warning given over sharing police checkpoint details

By Anita Moran

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Tauranga residents are being warned to think about the consequences of broadcasting information about police checkpoints on social media.

The warning comes as people set up Facebook pages detailing the locations of police checkpoints and hidden speed camera locations.

A page called Checkpoint Watch New Zealand has gained more than 23,000 "likes" and urges people to: "Let us know or find out where they are operating so that they can be avoided."

A local version of the page called Tauranga Checkpoint Watch is also active, but has not posted any checkpoint locations.

Another Tauranga-based page called Tauranga Cop Stops has been active since June and has attracted more than 560 likes. It regularly posts about where police checkpoints and crash sites are.

Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Kevin Taylor said the entire Bay of Plenty was a speed camera zone and cameras were moved to various locations as risks changed.

He said people were entitled to make their own choices and do what they wanted in respect to posting information about checkpoints, but he warned about the consequences.

"If you assist someone who is legless drunk and they should not be driving and they go on to crash, consider what you would tell their family," he said.

Wendy Nicholls, operations manager at the Te Aranui Youth Trust, which works with the police on youth programmes such as the Bluelight Anti-Drink Drive & Drug Expo, said the pages were irresponsible. "If you are not drinking and driving then you don't need to worry about where the locations are."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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