Concern over availability of drugs in Wanaka
Police are not ruling out another covert undercover operation in Wanaka, following a big drug bust late last year.
Operation Viking, an undercover operation into the Wanaka drug scene that led to eight arrests and convictions for dealing in LSD, ecstasy and cannabis, had nearly reached its conclusion, Southern District Police Organised Crime Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis said.
However, while satisfied with how it went, he had not ruled out doing another operation.
‘‘We are concerned about the easy availability of drugs in Wanaka. We’d run some other operations in the area, and Wanaka does seem to be an easy target.’’
Police were concerned about the susceptibility of younger people getting involved in drugs, he said.
In order to get an accurate picture of how susceptible they were to drugs and alcohol, the Wanaka Alcohol Group, which jointly hosted the legal highs forum with the Queenstown Lakes District Council, is seeking funding to survey the habits of the town’s young people.
In relation to licensing, Acting Otago Rural Area Commander Inspector Andrew Burns previously said a Queenstown Lakes undercover initiative would run at different times and in different locations over the next two years.
The details of the initiative were operational matters, he said.
In Queenstown, police confirmed the operation had started during Winter Festival, where four officers were planted in licensed premises to monitor compliance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.
Constable Phil Vink, of Wanaka, attended a recent meeting to discuss legal highs. A group member and also the town’s youth education officer, Vink was involved in the ‘‘Party Safe’’ police and community initiative to help young people and parents make responsible decisions around the consumption and availability of alcohol.
Watch dog on Wanaka: Constable Phil Vink, right, with members of the legal highs forum panel, Wanaka Alcohol Group member Rachel Brown, left, Queenstown Lakes District Council regulatory manager Lee Webster, Adventure Development social worker Struan Macdonald and alcohol group member Kathy Dedo.
Busting to contribute: Australian Prue Kyme-Hobson of Frankton can’t resist the temptation to donate to the bra fence in the Cardrona Valley in 1994. The
fence has been making headlines for
more than 20 years.