Kapiti police are calling for the community to take action against synthetic drugs after a drug-related death and a police raid made headlines within hours of each other.
Area commander Inspector Tracey Thompson fronted media this afternoon after reports of a search warrant executed at an address in Porirua in relation to the supply of psychoactive substances.
"Porirua Police today executed a search warrant at Cannons Creek in relation to the supply of psychoactive substances.
"Two people, a man and a woman, are currently helping police with inquiries in relation to that warrant," Thompson said.
She said today was the first seizure of synthetic drugs in the area.
"We are still at the house at present therefore I am unable to advise what we have located at this stage."
The warrant came after a 36-year-old man died in the Hutt Valley last night, a death that police said is possibly related to synthetic drugs.
Since November 1 this year, there have also been 17 other incidents related to synthetic drugs in the Kapiti-Mana Area, some of which people were hospitalised.
Thompson said today's search is part of police commitment to keeping the community safe.
"Police are focused on holding to account those who manufacture and supply synthetic drugs.
"These substances are extremely harmful to our people and to our communities and we are determined to stop the supply of them."
She confirmed police were working with regional and district public health agencies and a number of government agencies in order to address the problem.
"It is actually a community issue and we need our community to let us know what is going on and to provide the information for us," Thompson said.
"It is unfortunate that the emergency services are called when the damage has already been done.
"We need to know from family members, neighbours and community members if they are seeing or hearing about the use of synthetic drugs in their communities and to call us straight away so we can provide the support."
Thompson said every batch of synthetic drugs is a "bad batch".
"The reason is because we don't know what the make-up of each batch is and the consumer doesn't know so they take a risk every time they decide to use synthetic drugs.
"It affects different people in different ways obviously but some of the symptoms are comatose, in a zombie-like state and not being able to stand up straight."
She said police would continue communication with the community in relation to the issue.
"We know that it is being supplied in the community and we know people are consuming it, so we have been working relentlessly to ensure we get it out of our community. We don't want it here."
She said people could provide information to police directly, or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.