Tokoroa street clash between rival gangs sees eight charged

A Tokoroa street clash between rival gangs has led to eight arrests and the seizing of a rifle and drugs over the past two days.

Police were called to a disturbance outside a house in the south Waikato town on Wednesday, finding 20 Black Power and Mongrel Mob gang members engaged in a shouting match.

The eight police officers who attended defused the situation by arresting five of the most vocal men, Acting Senior Sergeant James McGrogan said.

"The initial confrontation happened before we got there. The arrests we made knocked it on the head," he said.

One of the gang members was injured and was taken to hospital with a suspected broken rib.

After executing search warrants in the following days, police found a rifle and drugs and arrested another three men.

The arrested men have been charged with various offences, including disorderly behaviour, cannabis possession and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The rifle and other weapons were not used during the altercation, he said.

The clash, which took place outside one of the gang member's house, had been brewing for some time, Mr McGrogan said.

"Generally they just keep to themselves. There had just been a bit of tension simmering over the last few weeks," he said.

"The Tokoroa police are not prepared to tolerate this anti-social, violent behaviour and will be taking a hard line against any unlawful activity."

- NZPA

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