Small increase in mental health, family violence issues as police remain vigilant in wake of Christchurch attack

Police say they have noticed a small increase in both mental health issues and family violence in the Canterbury area in the wake of March 15, with the official threat level of another attack remaining high.

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Police say the last few weeks have been hard, and that stresses are beginning to take their toll. Source: 1 NEWS

Almost a month has passed since the attack, and police say it has been and exhausting, but rewarding time for them.

Police's Canterbury District Commander John Price said the threat level remains high because "there are people out there who, unfortunately, when events like this occur, it does bring to the fore some of the worst behaviour in people.

"We want to stop that and prevent it from occurring," he said.

Mr Price said officers are starting to become exhausted and fatigued from working so hard in the past month, and for some, from seeing "things no one deserves to see".

Almost 1000 mental health checks with officers have been conducted in the last month and about 1500 officers have worked on the operation so far - many of them very willingly.

Senior Sergeant Nicola Reeves she has seen "police officers from all over the country, hands up, rushing in to help," and said that frontline officers "have to work hard to find ways to leave it behind and not take [trauma] with you.

"Because you can't carry that."

Senior constable Richie Parker is also of the mind that the current threat level is appropriate.

"You have to be on your toes - as we've seen in the media and online there are still some people out there who wish to express views that perhaps most of us wouldn't agree with," he said.

However hard it's been, Mr Parker says it has also been a rewarding time where police have felt appreciated.

"I've had more people come up and shake my hand and say 'thanks very much for everything you've done and everything you always do, keeping us safe', I've had more of that in the last four weeks than I've had in 29 years in the job."