More druggies are armed
Police raiding premises all over the region netted 17 people on drugs and related charges but also highlighted a growing trend – dealers are increasingly arming themselves.
Wellington District Covert Operations Group Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson said searches of properties in Tawa and Paraparaumu on December 9 found a loaded shotgun, a makeshift pistol and a taser.
Mr Thomson would not say whether he believed the weapons were intended for use against the police or competing drug dealers.
‘‘I think they [guns] are there for a variety of reasons. In essence they are there to protect their business. Impacts on their business are wide and varied, including the police.’’
The trend has increased steadily over the last five years, he said. The armed offenders squad sometimes attends drug searches.
‘‘We do a risk assessment on every premise because, obviously the risk is dif- ferent with every target. If the level of risk is at the threshhold we will take the appropriate response, whatever it is.
‘‘We would be using whatever resources we have got in those situations and on some of those warrants we certainly have [used the AOS] on those operations.’’
Drugs and firearms are a lethal cocktail and demonstrate the dangers of organised crime in the community, Mr Thomson said.
A dozen search warrants were executed across Otaki, Paraparaumu, Porirua, Tawa, Johnsonville, Newlands, Strathmore and central Wellington.
The people arrested will face a variety of charges, including supply of methamphetamine and cannabis; possession of methamphetamine, cannabis, ecstasy and LSD; possession of drug utensils; unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
Police also recovered more than $23,000 cash in Paraparaumu, Porirua, Tawa and Wellington city and quantities of methamphetamine, cannabis, ecstasy, LSD and valium. One referral were made to Child, Youth and Family.
Armed and dangerous: Detective Constable Jodie Pivott of the Wellington drug squad with some of the haul of weapons and cash police seized in a series of drug raids. The sawn-off shotgun and homemade .22 calibre pistol were both found loaded.