30 arrests in police operation

By -
File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A police operation targeting drug dealers, burglars and receivers of stolen property has led to 30 arrests in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.

And police have promised that they will remain vigilant in these areas despite the success of the Eastern District operation.

More than 40 police searched 24 properties around the region on Wednesday, and 15 people were arrested in the Napier-Hastings area, nine in Wairoa and six in Gisborne.

They face charges ranging from possession of cannabis for supply through to receiving stolen property.

The head of the district Organised Crime Unit, Napier-based Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Foster, said: "We've really hit hard in relation to methamphetamine over the last six months, and there's going to be no let-up."

Small amounts were still found during this week's searches.

One search yielded 152 cannabis tinnies, foil-wrapped ready for the Christmas market.

Some of those arrested have already appeared in court, and more are expected to front judges over the next few days.

As well as methamphetamine and cannabis, police found a range of property allegedly stolen in residential burglaries, including TVs, computers and jewellery, and clothing alleged to have come from shoplifting.

Some quantities of cash suspected of being proceeds from crime were also seized.

Mr Foster said burglaries were inextricably linked to illicit drugs, and were invariably committed to fund drug purchases or cover debts.

"We have targeted these people specifically in an effort to reduce burglaries throughout the district," he said.

But the operation also acted as a reminder to people of security issues, to ensure they don't become victims, particularly over the traditional December-January holiday period. Police want the public to recognise the signs of illegal activity, and know how to report it.

The Crimestoppers phone line is proving invaluable for police as more people are providing information, especially around drugs and drug dealing.

The public was being encouraged to use the service - it's anonymity was a huge drawcard for people who would not otherwise talk.

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