Five senior police staff have jetted off to the London Olympics courtesy of the Kiwi taxpayer.
They will have no police powers while there, acting instead as plain- clothes "liaison officers" to the New Zealand athletes and high commission.
They will remain in a "support" role until the conclusion of the Games next month, and one will stay on for the Paralympics, which end in September.
New Zealand police will not reveal how much is being spent on their flights, accommodation or daily allowances.
Superintendent Stu Wildon, international service group operations manager, said the five - two inspectors, two detective inspectors and a non-sworn staff member from the National Intelligence Centre - arrived in London on July 7.
They will be based in Weymouth, on the south coast, where the sailing is based; at the rowing venue in Eton, west of London; at the Olympic Village in east London; and at the New Zealand high commission in central London.
One of the five will stay on for the Paralympics, returning on September 12. "They are providing advice and support to the high commission and the New Zealand Olympic team," Mr Wildon said. "In the event that there is a consular incident involving New Zealanders, the . . . liaison officers will provide support and assistance.
"They do not have any constabulary powers whilst in London and are purely there in a support/advisory role. Part of their role involves liaising with a number of partner agencies . . . [and] once the games are underway, they will also focus their activities where New Zealand competitors, families and fans converge."
He said the international service group called for expressions of interest last year and, "as expected, they received a large number of interested applicants".
The five officers are Palmerston North rural area commander Inspector Mark Harrison; New Plymouth area commander Inspector Blair Telford; response manager at the emergency call centre Detective Inspector Lance Burdett; Detective Inspector David Long from Canterbury district headquarters; and Steven Gibson from the National Intelligence Centre.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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