The destructive impact methamphetamine has on the Hawke's Bay community never strays far from the minds of those in the police force, says Detective Inspector Mike Foster.
After achieving a record methamphetamine bust in the Hawke's Bay region last week, Detective Inspector Foster said he was determined to rid the region of the drug.
"It destroys people, it destroys families and it's the catalyst for a lot of crime. In effect, it destroys the community as well."
Last week police arrested 13 people for high level drug offending after a six month long investigation into an organised crime unit.
Three kilograms of methamphetamine, holding a street value of $2.5 million, was seized along with $343,000 in cash, 2,200 LSD tabs, eight firearms, six upmarket vehicles and a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Detective Inspector Foster said six police staff belonging to the organised crime unit were involved in the investigation and up to 40 staff were involved in the final bust.
As family harm incidents, burglaries and car break-ins were crimes often driven by methamphetamine use, he said the arrests made after months of working to dismantle the drug supply were an excellent result.
"It's incredibly satisfying. I'm immensely proud of the team, the Eastern organised crime team, because they've done a magnificent job.
"There's been a lot of personal sacrifice, there have some long hours and there's always stress in preparing these operations so it's been an excellent result for Hawke's Bay."
"There have been a lot of search warrants executed over the last year or so targeting methamphetamine and synthetic cannabis and those drugs that are severely impacting our vulnerable in Hawke's Bay."
A number of those arrested in the bust belonged to the Mongrel Mob, a patched gang that has spoken out against methamphetamine in the past.
In January this year it was announced that senior gang leader Rex Timu had lodged a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal arguing "racist" government policy was the reason so many Maori were addicted to P.
The Hastings chapter president had banned P among his members and claimed the nationwide strategy to combat the "P epidemic plaguing Maori communities" was failing.
Inspector Foster said the anti-methamphetamine message put out by Mongrel Mob spokespeople in the past was still relevant, despite some gang members being caught up in last week's drug bust.
"There are certain, probably older members, within the gang fraternity that probably genuinely do want to get rid of methamphetamine and there are many more that make it their business to supply methamphetamine."
He said police were "always open and willing" to speak with gang members who were supportive of ridding the community of the drug.
The field crime manager said the community's response to the investigation had been overwhelming.
"I've been inundated with calls from the public so obviously it's hitting home with our public as to how appreciative they are."
The 13 individuals arrested last week were charged with an array of crimes including supplying methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for supply and firearms charges.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, the maximum penalty for supplying the class A controlled drug or possessing it is life imprisonment.
Detective Inspector Foster said along with enforcing the law, police would ensure those who were reliant on methamphetamine were referred to the relevant agencies to ensure they got the support they needed to address their use.
"In every operation we identify some drug users. We will be approaching people and offering them support. If the users are able to get rehabilitation then this lessens the demand for methamphetamine."
He said the methamphetamine seized in last week's bust would eventually be destroyed and, pending the outcome of the court cases, the hundreds of thousands in cash would be confiscated to the Government's consolidated fund.
Anyone who may have any information about drug related offending should contact police, which can be done anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.