There's no evidence that P dealers have left Ngaruawahia after Tribal Huk claims, says Police Association

By Nikki Preston

Earlier this month the Tribal Huks gave meth dealers in the Waikato town of Ngaruawahia 24 hours to leave. Photo / SBS
Earlier this month the Tribal Huks gave meth dealers in the Waikato town of Ngaruawahia 24 hours to leave. Photo / SBS

There is no evidence the Tribal Huk gang has rid the town of P dealers despite claims they've been run out of Ngaruawahia, according to the Police Association and the local community house.

Police Association vice-president Luke Shadbolt said leader Jamie Pink's claims that his car had been shot at and he had lost an eye over his war on P dealers in Ngaruawahia could be true as there was a risk.

However, he said there was "no evidence" that P dealers had left the town.

And even if they had, Shadbolt said getting rid of P dealers didn't get rid of the addiction to meth and the real answer was working with educating and deterring young people.

"It's very hard to stomp out meth use."

Shadbolt said instead of taking the law into their hands, gang members should work with local police or other legitimate support agencies.

While he acknowledged gangs were sometimes reluctant to work with police, he said there had also been some successful collaborations especially with former gang members.

Jamie Pink of the Tribal Huk gang said he had lost an eye over the ultimatum.
Jamie Pink of the Tribal Huk gang said he had lost an eye over the ultimatum.

"What we do know is with gangs there's always a risk of turf wars and retaliation. It's hard with gangs to step into the realm of fighting drugs."

Ngaruawahia Community House manager Anne Ramsay said it was eerily quiet and extremely hard to tell whether P dealers had been run out.

"There's absolutely nothing. Like weirdly nothing. You just can't tell. You would think there would be 14 empty houses and there are no rental properties in Ngaruawahia. So you would actually think that 14 empty houses would spark some body's interest - or 14 irate landlords."

Ramsay said there had been a slight increase in visibility of Tribal Huk gang members in the town, but no word on any fights or attacks.

"If there were gunshots in the town and people haranguing other people then I suspect you would hear about it."

Luke Shadbolt said there was "no evidence" that P dealers had left the town. Photo / Duncan Brown
Luke Shadbolt said there was "no evidence" that P dealers had left the town. Photo / Duncan Brown

Canterbury University professor in sociology Greg Newbold said Pink's behaviour was "completely inappropriate and illegal".

"It's not appropriate for people in small communities to declare themselves as the town sheriff and start enforcing the law.

"He's not a policeman, he's a gang member and he shouldn't have anything to do with enforcing the law."

Newbold, a criminologist, said police needed to step in and show the community who enforced the law and deal with anybody who was acting illegally.

"Otherwise you will get vigilantism, you will get lawlessness and you will get the kind of reaction we are getting and you will get war on the streets."

He said it was quite likely that Pink had been on the other end of retaliation given claims his car had been shot at. "It could well be that he's stepped on someone's toes and someone is retaliating."

"I don't condone any of it. It's lawlessness. It's the Wild West. The police should have acted already to stop this and they are partially to blame, in my view."

Newbold also doubted claims the P dealers had left Ngaruawahia. "If they've gone, they will be back in five minutes."

Pink had also not been seen by the community sporting a patch after claiming to have lost his right eye.

- NZ Herald

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