Christchurch attacks anniversary: Police patrols being beefed up

Christchurch residents can expect to see an increased police presence in the lead-up to the first anniversary of the terror attacks.

Armed police stand guard as Memorial Park Cemetery is prepared for the burial of victims of the Christchurch mass shooting last year. Photo: RNZ / Matthew Theunissen

The increase comes as the police trial its Eagle helicopter in Canterbury to work alongside its regular patrolling.

Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price said police were increasing patrols around the two Christchurch mosques targeted in the 15 March attack last year.

It comes after a recent threat was made to the Muslim community.

Messages were posted on the encrypted messaging app Telegram on Sunday, targeting members of the Al Noor Mosque.

Price said the police have since increased their patrols around both the Al Noor and Linwood mosques.

“The safety of the community is our top priority, and we all have a responsibility to work together, and to remain vigilant to anything that might be worrying or suspicious,” he said.

He also said police were following strong leads in relation to the reported threat.

“We encourage anyone who sees or hears anything concerning to contact Police straight away on 111 to report it.”

“We have had regular contact and communication with the mosques since the tragic events of last year, and continue to provide reassurance, advice, visibility, and support,” Price said.

RNZ News earlier reported that the Islamic community in New Zealand was on high alert in the lead-up to the terror attack anniversary.

Islamic Women’s Council national co-ordinator Anjum Rahman said the threat was the fourth she was aware of since the attacks.

“We have been talking to authorities for some months, since last year, definitely, about preparations coming into 15 March,” Rahman said.

“Absolutely, we were expecting this and possibly worse things.”

Christchurch attacks anniversary: Police patrols being beefed up