The call prompted the police to turn up at Tok Tobeck’s home and question her and her husband over a party on their property during lockdown which actually turned out to be on Zoom
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A couple living under lockdown restrictions had a neighbour call police on them in for a hosting a party – despite there only being two of them celebrating a relative’s birthday on a Zoom call.
The call prompted the police to turn up at Tok Tobeck’s home, in Clarks Beach, Auckland, New Zealand, and question her and her husband over a party on their property.
They were initially puzzled over the appearance of two officers on Sunday, but Ms Tobeck said it was only after a little while that “the penny dropped” and they realised the officers had to be referring to their Zoom party the evening before.
Ms Tobeck joked: “Maybe they just didn’t like our loud, out-of-tune singing.”
She said the call had been to celebrate her niece’s 17th birthday, which she was celebrating in Manurewa, over the other side of the Auckland region.
“The call included her grandmother, her mother, and a couple of other aunties as well,” Ms Tobeck told the Herald.
“It was just me and my husband here but maybe we were louder than we thought,” she added.
Ms Tobeck had been out grocery shopping when the two police officers paid her home a visit. While her husband said he had trouble understanding them, the officers insisted they had the right address, The New Zealand Herald reports.
A neighbour had complained about them breaching lockdown rules and hosting a party at their house on Saturday afternoon.
But Ms Tobeck said this makes “no sense”. There were no extra cars in the driveway, she said the only different thing being their “loud” and “out of tune” singing.
“We sang happy birthday quite loudly and out of tune and we actually sang it twice because my daughter, who lives in Dunedin, joined the call a bit late,” Ms Tobeck recalled.
The Aucklander is a midwife and says she is “very strict” about following alert level rules.
She said she agrees with people dobbing others in if they have suspicions about rule-breakers, but thinks there need to be stricter rules about the provision of evidence, to avoid police making unnecessary visits.
She said she sees the funny side of her visit, but worried others could feel intimidated by that kind of police visit.
A police spokesperson told the Herald that said authorities have, to date, received a total of 9,767 online breach reports. Just 86 people had been charged as a result of those reports, while 183 more had been formally warned.
The spokesperson said police would, in general, follow up breach reports and speak to those individuals.
If they established there was no evidence of any breach, no further action would be taken.
Reflecting on the incident, Ms Tobeck hoped her neighbours would just knock on her door or leave a note next time they had issues with the quality of her voice.