Waikato Police crack down on organised criminal groups, drug dealers

By Regan Paranihi
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

30 people in the Waikato Region have been arrested during a major district-wide operation targeted at organsed criminal groups and drug dealers.

All 30 arrested, including members of various gangs, have appeared in the Hamilton District Court over the past week.

Waikato District Organised Crime and Major Crime teams have been undertaking search warrants at 14 properties throughout the district since December 4th.

Detective Sergeant Kristine Clarke, head of the Waikato Organised Crime Team says, “During these search warrants we visited properties with prominent gang regalia displayed, where police believe drugs were being sold from.”

She says the operation recognised a clear link gangs and the sale and dispatch of drugs.

One of the houses that were searched is believed to be right next door to a kindergarten.  Gang regalia, drugs, and illegal firearms were found at this property.

Clarke Police claim that in many situations children were exposed to methamphetamine and cannabis because of the nature of their environment, with parents or caregivers openly selling drugs from their home.

Police child protection teams are working closely with Oranga Tamariki to ensure the safety of children is paramount.

Detective Sergeant Neville Ross, head of the Waikato’s Major Crime Team says, “The impact of any ongoing supply of methamphetamine on a community results in huge social harm, negative health implications, and financial harm, particularly to drug users and their families.”

He also says, “We want to help people get away from the cycle of drug addiction and we urge them to seek assistance from police or the many social agencies available for help.”