Occupy protesters return to Aotea Square

Auckland Council warranted officers and police evicted the Occupy Auckland protest site at Aotea Square this morning. Photo / Supplied
Auckland Council warranted officers and police evicted the Occupy Auckland protest site at Aotea Square this morning. Photo / Supplied

Some Occupy Auckland protestors have snuck back into Aotea Square after yesterday's evictions.

Police say they're keeping a watching brief on the situation but don't have a presence there - they're trying to keep things low key in the interests of not exacerbating the situation.

A spokesman this morning says the police don't want to take a lead role in this - the issue is between the council and the protestors.

The Auckland Council is staying tight-lipped over whether its staff will try to erect a fence around the grassed area of Aotea Square again today.

Council employees were prevented from putting up the fence yesterday evening by Occupy Auckland protestors, who sat and lay down in front of it.

Staff say they were putting up the fence so the grass can grow back.

Protestors object to that, saying they're not animals that need to be fenced.

Auckland Council spokesman Glyn Walters refuses to say if their employees will return - although Newstalk ZB believes they tried to early this morning and were again prevented from doing their work by the protestors.

Meanwhile, three police officers are under investigation after they allegedly wore matching identification numbers, during yesterday's action to remove the protestors from Aotea Square.

Protestors claim it was a deliberate move to hide their identity.

Inspector Gary Allcock says police policy is for each officer to wear their own identification number, and he says an employment procedures have begun into this breach of policy.

Inspector Allcock says police were there to support Council's operation in dismantling the tents pitched in Aotea Square.

Chairman Tim McBride has written a paper on police identification for the Law Society.

He says it was hot topic during the 1981 Springbok tour where frequently police were unable to be identified.

"If this allegation is indeed true, and I understand this is only an allegation, but if it's found to be true then it's certainly very troubling," he says.

It's police policy for each officer to wear their own identification number.

- Newstalk ZB

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