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Driver of stolen car nabbed at parade

ANNA LOREN
Last updated 05:00 14/03/2014
Maori Wardens

REVVING UP: Police, Maori wardens and pipers kick off the annual Counties Manukau police pay parade.

Judith Collins
TOP BRASS: Justice Minister Judith Collins and police commissioner Peter Marshall inspect the officers’ uniforms.

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An alleged car thief took a wrong turn for a joy ride last week when he became snarled by a police march.

Counties Manukau police were staging their annual pay parade, when they march in their best uniforms in front of their top brass through Manurewa.

On hand were Justice Minister Judith Collins and mayor Len Brown.

Outgoing police commissioner Peter Marshall also attended on his last Auckland appointment before he retires next month.

Intersections along Great South Rd were shut down and a keen-eyed officer on traffic patrol at one of them spotted a suspicious car waiting for the parade to pass.

He noticed a broken rear quarter window and after checking, discovered the car had been stolen from central Auckland earlier in the week. The driver was arrested immediately for the unlawful taking of the car and was also found to be a forbidden driver.

"It's likely this driver was regretting his decision to drive through Manurewa," Counties Manukau police central area commander Inspector Julia Lynch says.

The parade concluded near the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club where the officers' uniforms were inspected by Ms Collins, Mr Brown and Mr Marshall.

The tradition stems from the historical requirement for police to march to the local magistrate's office every fortnight in their dress uniform and pass inspection before getting their pay packet.

Ms Collins congratulated officers on contributing to a nationwide 33-year low in reported crime levels.

"In this area, the most diverse of all the policing districts, you have had some of the most outstanding results ever," she says.

Parade commander inspector Warwick Morehu says the march was one of the proudest moments of his career.

It was an opportunity for cops to be visible role models for young people in the community, he says.

"A lot of kids out here really struggle. Seeing something like this could be just what they need to pull them back on to the right track."

- additional reporting Fairfax NZ News

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- Manukau Courier

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