Po­lice on the air­port beat

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Ni­cola Wil­liams

One group of po­lice offi takes pa­trolling the beat to new heights.

While other units work within a district, of­fi­cers based at Auck­land air­port have wider bound­aries – ex­tend­ing na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

With 13 mil­lion peo­ple pass­ing through the air­port each year and many busi­nesses within the vicin­ity, of­fi­cer in charge in­spec­tor Mick Woods says the air­port is a town in its own right with all the same is­sues.

“It’s vi­brant all the time, it’s a city within a city.”

He loves the role and says there is “no bet­ter job in the po­lice”.

Com­mu­nity polic­ing is a strong fo­cus. Staff deal with car break-ins, driv­ing in­fringe­ments, shoplift­ing, ag­gra­vated rob­bery, dis­or­der and fraud.

But other as­pects of the job are unique to the air­port.

Of­fi­cers need to be pre­pared to re­spond to emer­gen­cies and ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity, deal with drug smug­gling, deaths on­board air­craft and im­mi­gra­tion crime such as false pass­ports.

They also watch over the safety of dig­ni­taries and celebri­ties.

Last month there were 46 ar­rests, 36 VIP op­er­a­tions, 37 bor­der alerts and 24 se­cu­rity in­ci­dents, in­clud­ing a passenger who had live am­mu­ni­tion.

Re­cently staff have re­sponded to the swine flu pan­demic. Mr Wood says he’s proud of the way his of­fi­cers stepped up to deal with swine

Seized: In­spec­tor Mick Woods with some of have tried to get through Cus­toms.

the weapons pas­sen­gers

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