John Weekes

John Weekes is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Police on to anti-royals

Police have started keeping tabs on anti-royals who might disrupt Prince Charles' visit here next month - but the group openly saying they would like to flour-bomb him haven't heard a peep.

The leader of a moderate republican group, Lewis Holden, says he's been put on a threat-assessment list - and thinks police have him confused with someone else.

Meanwhile, republicans Kerry Bevin and Jack Gielen, who have burnt flags in the past and say they would love to bomb Prince Charles with flour, and worse, are surprised they haven't been contacted about the visit.

"They've spoken to me in the past and I have said to them ... 'It'd be a good idea if [Charles] never came back after this'," Bevin said.

Bevin was offended by the privilege associated with royals. "If it goes on much longer there will be violence in this country and in Australia."

Holden, meanwhile, chairman of the Republican Movement of New Zealand, Government energy analyst and IBM sales representative, was bemused that a detective from the threat-assessment unit called him to ask what plans he had for Charles' visit.

"He actually confused us with the Republic of New Zealand Party." Holden had repeatedly distanced himself from the former RNZP.

Police did not return messages seeking comment.

Security expert Dr Paul G. Buchanan said it was normal for police to plan ahead and "tell some of the loudmouths to shut up".

"Ninety-nine per cent of the time that dissipates the problem, if there was a threat in the first place."

He said the more serious the perceived threat, the less likely police would contact people of interest directly.

Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will visit from November 10-16.

- Herald on Sunday

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