Green Party Police spokesperson Keith Locke said today he was astounded at the $1 million dollar price tag for police security surrounding the visit of Tiger Woods last month.
Figures released to the Evening Post newspaper under the Official Information Act show that 332 police staff were used in the operation, including more than 150 from outside the Wellington area.
“It confirms my fears that police went completely over the top in their response to a threatening letter sent to the U.S. Embassy prior to the New Zealand Open,” said Keith Locke.
“I can understand police taking extra precautions in the wake of the September 11th tragedy, but to devote so much resource is a complete over-reaction.
“The huge, highly visible police presence must have been highly gratifying to the sick individual who sent the letter, and will only serve to encourage more hoaxes in the future.
“That police drafted so many officers into Tiger Woods’ bodyguard is particularly worrying,” Keith Locke said, “given that resources through January were being stretched by a large number of homicide inquiries around the country.”