A woman from Auckland is currently facing forgery charges of a mask exemption document that she presented to an authority.
The ordeal happened in Pak’nSave Silverdale, North Auckland, when a police officer stopped the woman and asked why she didn’t have her mask on. The woman, who is 23 years old, instead showed a document which was later found to be forged.
Police commissioner Andrew Costner said that they have scrutinized the document and concluded that it was indeed a forgery.
Coster also added that several people who can’t physically wear masks are understandable, but not complying with the rules when a person is capable of wearing a mask poses many risks.
Charges were filed against the suspect, and on August 28, she appeared in North Shore District Court. The woman faced charges for using forged documents and violating the Health Order that is currently active not just in Auckland but in the entirety of Australia.
So far, this is the first issue of forgery of the document about wearing facemasks. Under alert level 4, face masks are mandatory accessories to be worn when entering a business establishment or simply being out in public.
However possible, a facemask exemption is only exclusive for people under age 12, those with illnesses and disabilities. It’s also possible to be exempted if you’re having a hard time wearing the mask physically, which isn’t the case for the woman in this article.
Exemption cards are the legal documents that are needed for people to go out without a facemask. To check if you are eligible to get one, get in contact with Disabled Persons Assembly NZ, and they will assess your current situation.
While police are the only authorities who can enforce, business owners and their staff are still capable of asking people and reminding them of wearing their facemask. They can also be the ones to check the exemption card and decide accordingly.
Coster stated that the police are taking things slow with the mandatory facemask policy. They’re more likely to educate before resorting to apprehension or detention. However, they are well-equipped to enforce law and order when things escalate.
Since the lockdown has been issued, the police have cracked down on many violators. As time passes by, the number declines, but the high initial numbers indicate that people are willing to learn and be educated rather than being apprehended at their first approach.