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Police Use Special Powers To Quell Ōpōtiki Gang Tensions

Eastern Bay Police are making the most of special powers to curb ongoing gang tension in Ōpōtiki.

They've been granted warrants under the Criminal Activity Intervention Legislation Act 2023.

It allows officers to search and seize vehicles, places and weapons of suspected gang members during times of gang conflict.

Area Commander Inspector Nicky Cooney said they executed nine warrants over the long weekend.

Two of the warrants were at addresses and the rest targeted vehicles.

"A number of items were seized, including $27,000 cash, weapons (not firearms), drugs LSD & Cannabis, and ammunition."

Cooney said, one gang member as well as a second male, were both arrested.

A 22-year-old man's charged with possession of class A and class C drugs, plus Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

A 36-year-old man is also facing charges of Possession of Offensive Weapons.

Both are due to appear in the Ōpōtiki District Court on Thursday.

Cooney said, they're sending a clear message to all gangs and the public that unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated.

"Police will continue to be out in the community, ready to respond to any unlawful behaviour by gangs and anyone who believes that they are above the law," Cooney said.

She said people can report any incident in which their safety or that of others is at risk by calling 111 immediately.

They can also ring 105 if it’s already happened or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Public Interest Journalism funded through New Zealand On Air.


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