Two central-city shops have been found selling synthetic substances after a major police operation across Rotorua.

Operation Presence, which was mostly focused on increasing a police presence in the Western Heights area on Thursday, also involved controlled-purchase operations on shops selling synthetic drugs. Police worked with Toi Te Ora Public Health Service to crack down on shops breaching the recent Psychoactive Substances Act, which makes it illegal to sell such products to people aged under 18.

"This is an extremely unfortunate result and shows that some stores are not taking their responsibilities seriously when it comes to managing the sale of these products," said Rotorua area prevention manager Inspector Ed Van Den Broek.

"The shops that sell these products are liable for a fine of up to $10,000, and the individual salesperson is liable for a fine of up to $5000 for the sale. The police will complete their inquiries along with Toi Te Ora and decide what charges will be laid as a result of this operation. The stores will also be referred to the Ministry of Health and asked to consider the revocation of the shops licence to sell synthetic drugs."


The operation involved about 50 extra staff taking to the community and working alongside other agencies, such as Rotorua District Council animal control, Maori Wardens, Ministry of Justice, Child Youth and Family Services and Rotorua high schools.

Mr Van Den Broek said the partnership allowed police to work collaboratively to prevent offending from happening by picking up a large number of truants missing from school, working to remove young people from the CBD acting disorderly and committing theft, removing dangerous and unregistered dogs from the community and spending time in repeat crime locations talking and listening to people to make communities safer.


* - 28 cold calls to victims or offenders
* - 6 warrants executed for non-payments of fines
* - 17 driving infringement notices issued
* - 1 arrest warrant executed
* - 1 summons served
* - 11 driver-licence suspensions served
* - 33 truants returned to school
* - 13 dogs impounded
* - 6 controlled-purchase operations for alcohol
* - 1 person arrested after DNA matched to a crime
* - 3 family violence checks made
* - 4 items of stolen property recovered

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