More drug­gies are armed

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.