A police blitz targeting errant drivers, fines evaders and those failing to appear in court was also an operation to reassure victims in the community.

Police saturated the Whangarei suburb of Raumanga with officers carrying out about 80 door-knocks at houses where offenders were living and stopping hundreds of cars at check points yesterday.

While police use road checkpoints, carry out warrants and employ a number of other tactics on a regular basis it is the first time police have used the whole range to concentrate intensely on one suburb of Whangarei.

A woman with a warrant out for her arrest for owing $46,000 in unpaid fines was tracked down and transported to Whangarei District Court. She was 1 of 15 people who owed a total of $88,000 in fines.

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Those on bail conditions and curfews were subject to a visit.

Businesses and individuals who had been victims of crime were also visited and given crime prevention advice.

About 50 police were involved in the operation that ran from 7am until about 11pm last night.

The officer in charge of the operation, Inspector Wayne Ewers, said police had taken a snap-shot of the Raumanga area and people of interest had been identified including those who had failed to appear in court, had not paid their fines or drivers who had collected more than 100 demerit points and were continuing to drive.

"The focus of the operation was the Raumanga area which has had its fair share of victims over the last few weeks. We have found there is a very small percentage of the community that is causing a whole heap of victims in the area," Mr Ewers said.

About 24 drivers were found to have more than 100 demerit points and were living in Raumanga. Yesterday officers located those drivers seized their licences and ordered them off the road for three months.

Inspector Wayne Ewers at a checkpoint on Tauroa St detects a unlicensed driver with a child in the front seat. PHOTO/ Kristin Edge
Inspector Wayne Ewers at a checkpoint on Tauroa St detects a unlicensed driver with a child in the front seat. PHOTO/ Kristin Edge

Another 15 drivers were also found to be either driving without a licence or breaching their learner or restricted licences.

"Sooner or later these people who push the boundaries with their driving that offending ends in disaster.

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"Those are high risk drivers off the road. In terms of public safety that's huge. If they are off the road they are not putting other people's lives at risk," Mr Ewers said.

Of the 14 road fatalities in Northland this year six involved drivers or passengers who were not wearing seatbelts.

A drink-driver was also taken off the road after he blew 450 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath - nearly double the legal limit of 250mcg - when he was stopped on Tauroa St at 9.20am.(crct)

Among the victims visited and given a crime prevention booklet were the staff at the Night and Day at Gull service station. A store manager said police had being paying regular visits in recent weeks.

"They come when we have no incidents to help us ... It increases the confidence in us because they are not only there when we need them but just to help us as well."

Road checkpoints identified vehicles without warrants or registration as well as drivers with no licences, not wearing seatbelts or using mobile phones while driving.

A specialised police vehicle kitted out with automatic number plate recognition identified a number of vehicles linked to petrol drive offs and other crimes.

Constable Dan Bartlett at a checkpoint in Raumanga. PHOTO/ Michael Cunningham
Constable Dan Bartlett at a checkpoint in Raumanga. PHOTO/ Michael Cunningham

The electronic gear identifies vehicles in a split second and is able to determine if it is warranted or registered.

The spike in police activity had locals talking with plenty of posts on the Facebook page "Cop Stops - Whangarei" alerting followers to the increased police numbers as soon after the first searches were carried out.