Police will have an increased and highly visible presence around Christchurch ahead of, and during, next week’s High Court sentencing for the offender convicted of the 15 March terrorist attacks.

Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price says Police have been working closely with other agencies in preparation for the sentencing hearing, which is expected to last several days.

“This is an unprecedented event with a large number of victims and their families expected to attend court.

A number of them will read victim impact statements in court or have them read on their behalf.

“A major security operation has been planned to help ensure the safety of everyone involved.

“There will be visible, heightened security in and around the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct/Te Omeka (JESP), including parking restrictions and vehicle barriers in Tuam and Lichfield streets.

“Anyone entering the Christchurch Law Courts will be subject to usual court screening measures and is encouraged to arrive early.

"Please leave bags at home, if possible.

“Police would like to thank the community for their understanding and cooperation as we work together to ensure a safe environment for these proceedings.”

Police front counter services at JESP have been suspended for the duration of the sentencing hearing.

Papanui and Christchurch South stations will extend their front counter hours until 9pm, and Police are always available 24/7 by calling 105, or in an emergency, 111.

There will also be changes to public access and services available from the Christchurch Law Courts during the sentencing hearing.