25 arrests in Rotorua drug busts

Twenty five Rotorua residents have been arrested as part of a crack down on drugs.

Acting area commander Inspector Ed Van Den Broek said police executed 14 search warrants in Rotorua in the past two days. He said 13 were at residential properties and one was a retail outlet in the city.

He said the raids was the culmination of two police operations, one focused on methamphetamine and gangs, the other on cannabis dealers.

Seven women and eighteen men were arrested and cannabis which had been packaged for sale and stolen property had been seized.

Mr Van Den Broek said this operation was wider than just the drugs trade.

"Coming in to the summer season we traditionally see an increase in dishonesty offending and we know there is a definitive link between the two crimes," he said.

"We want to send a clear message that we won't tolerate this sort of behaviour in Rotorua and these operations will continue until that message gets through."

Mr Van Den Broek said police also wanted to take this opportunity to encourage the reporting of drug offending.

"Drugs cause nothing but misery and most people don't want them in their communities or want their children exposed to the risks," he said.

"With the community acting as our eyes and ears and reporting suspicious behaviour we can make a significant dent in the trade."

Mr Van Den Broek said rurally the cannabis growing season was also getting underway so now was the time to be extra vigilant.

"Deerstalkers, pig-hunters, trampers, people taking part in outdoor recreation, and people working in the rural and aviation industries can all be useful observers at this time of the year."


Signs to look for in rural communities:

People seen repeatedly going to certain locations

People seen at odd times

People somewhere they are not supposed to be

Shovels, spades and other such equipment being carried into the bush

Vehicles in rural areas closed to the public or with difficult access

Unusual lights in rural areas at night

Distinctive smell coming from rural areas or properties

Items going missing from rural properties that might be used in accessing plots and cultivation such as farm bikes and fencing equipment


Signs to look out for with residential and commercial properties:

Residents increasing fence heights

Curtains closed day and night

Shed and garage windows being blocked out

Bright lights on constantly or at strange times

Sounds of fans continually running

Vehicles and people visiting hours at all hours of the days

"These signs don't rule out innocent explanations but reporting the activity allows the police to make that judgement and anyone who hasn't done anything wrong has nothing to fear," Mr Van Den Broek said.

Anyone with information about drug cultivation, manufacture or supply should contact their local police station. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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