A massive police operation is underway in Otara with up to 100 officers seen pursuing people on motorbikes, while one senior cop says Aucklanders have “had a gutsful”.
A witness told the Herald that scores of both police and members of the Killer Beez gang could be seen. Police were pursuing dirt bike riders near Ngati Otara Park.
Armed police and the Eagle helicopter were also involved and it is understood that some motorbikes were seized.
Inspector Kerry Watson told Newshub at the scene that Aucklanders have “had a gutsful” of what he described as “a growing issue”.
“With these large rides, they really intimidate the public and we’ve had a number of incidents where members of the public have been assaulted seriously.”
Police displayed some unorthodox methods of trying to catch the bikers, one officer throwing a baton as a last effort to stop a fleeing man which was described by a senior police officer to Newshub as “not exactly textbook”.
The officer also confirmed a crash last night in Clover Park involved similar reckless motorbike activity.
The crash between the bike and car at the intersection of Te Irirangi Dr and Hollyford Dr left the motorcyclist in critical condition.
“Last night we had a collision with a dirt bike and another vehicle ... the information we have is that person is critically injured and may not survive. So it’s not only a risk to the public, these idiots are just doing dumb stuff with dumb outcomes,” Watson told Newshub.
A police spokesperson said today they were aware of a group of motorbikes travelling through Auckland.
“The group will be monitored and police will respond to any incidents that may arise,” they said.
The group was seen riding along State Highway 20 and State Highway 16 towards the city.
This comes as police crackdown on illegal dirt bike riding this weekend got under way.
Operation Metallic Red focuses on targeting dangerous and nuisance driving and the riding of dirt bikes across the Manukau district.
Counties Manukau Police senior sergeant Anton Maisey said in an earlier statement that police would be visible on Sunday and Monday, particularly in the South Auckland area.
“Police and the wider community have zero tolerance for this dangerous driving that puts other motorists and members of the public at risk. These riders show a complete disregard for others.”
One goal of the new operation is to prevent dirt bike activity from growing into larger gatherings where police said they have seen reckless behaviour emerge in the past.
“Any offending will be investigated and follow-up action taken.
“Police have held riders to account in the past and we will continue to utilise all available avenues around enforcement.”
Police said this enforcement could include impounding vehicles, infringements, or arrests for any driving offences.
Anyone who observes dangerous or nuisance driving as it is occurring can contact 111, or alternatively the 105 phone service, or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.