Police sweep Palmerston North shopping centre after suspected threat


Armed police at Palmerston North shopping centre

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Armed police at Palmerston North shopping centre

Armed police closed down a shopping mall in Palmerston North on Thursday night out of concern for a woman who had called saying her partner had a gun.

Plaza manager Andrew Heaphy said he understood the call was traced to the shopping centre or somewhere close by.

Police swooped in around 8.45pm, just 15 minutes before the centre was due to close, escorted customers out and did some bag searches.

Heaphy said police alerted Plaza management to what was happening, and cordoned off the area.

“The all clear was given pretty quickly.”

Matthew van Kerkhoff, 32, said he was shocked to see what looked like assault rifles in the arms of police as he sat in his car in the car park.

“It was quite nice to see they were taking it seriously, whether it was a prank or something more serious.”

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