Police are pleading with the public to speak up about simmering gang tensions before someone is killed or seriously injured.

There have been four gang-related incidents and an armed police raid at a gang house in the past three weeks.

Rotorua police say while gangs in the city have always committed crime, they are dealing with more "volatile" natures because many are affected by methamphetamine.

Detective Sergeant Garry Hawkins, who has led some of the recent investigations, said there were factions within the community who knew gang tensions were about to erupt and he pleaded with them to let the police know early.

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He said police didn't want to be called to a gang fight where an innocent member of the public had been hurt or killed.

"You never know, you could end up saving a life," Mr Hawkins said.

"They are reckless. They don't care what direction they are pointing these firearms in and where they are firing. Where the bullet goes at the end of it, they don't care."

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Mr Hawkins said for decades police had targeted gangs for drug dealing, possession of firearms and dishonesty offending but the risk to the public had heightened because of methamphetamine, or P.

"We are dealing with loose units and we are doing our best to curb any activity but at the end of the day we can't be everywhere. We are really relying on the eyes and ears of our community to tell us so we can act with urgency.

"A lot of people know this stuff is building and we want to be notified before it happens so we can be proactive.

"They are always simmering. It only takes one little thing to tip them and they are fighting."

Tensions between Rotorua's Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs erupted in the early hours on August 25 when shots were fired near a gang-related property on Turner Dr in Western Heights. At the same time, a house on Turner Dr was set alight and seriously damaged. No one was inside at the time. About 9.30am that day three houses on Ford Rd in the Fordlands suburb were shot at.

McIntyre Ave in Fenton Park was in lock down for more than three hours on Wednesday last week when the Armed Offenders Squad searched a house looking for a man in relation to alleged gang-related offending. On Saturday, a shot was allegedly fired on Taharangi St in Koutu sparking armed police to cordon off the area.

Information should be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the public are urged to call 111 if it's an emergency.

Alleged gang incidents
■ August 25: Early hours shots fired near a gang property on Turner Dr
■ August 25: Early hours house set on fire on Turner Dr and was seriously damaged
■ August 25: 9.30am three gang houses shot at in Ford Rd
■ September 7: Armed Offenders Squad used to search a gang house on McIntyre Ave
■ September 10: Shot fired at a house on Taharangi St. Police say it was gang related