Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato

The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks.

“Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in 29 arrests,” said Stuart Nash.

“More than $1 million in assets like high-spec cars and motorbikes, property and jewellery has been seized. Illegal firearms, methamphetamine, stolen property and more than $200,000 in cash has also been recovered.

“The three month-long operation is testament to the hard work of Police officers and asset recovery teams who are determined to make an impact on drug harm and violence in our communities.

“Police are committed to dismantling the networks that see gangs and white collar professionals try to exploit vulnerable members of their own communities.

"The Coalition Government has put a record number of Police on the frontline with a specific focus on organised crime. Extra resourcing will include 700 additional investigators.

“It is particularly significant that Police have been able to shut down four clandestine methamphetamine labs in the Waikato. Methamphetamine is a scourge in our communities. It causes misery and grief.

“Many New Zealanders know someone through their family, workplaces or friendships and have seen first-hand the deterioration in their loved ones who are caught in the grip of addiction.

“Through the health system and other non-government agencies we are also targeting the factors causing addiction, which drives the demand for methamphetamine. This is a long term challenge for government and community agencies.

“Anyone affected by drug addiction should reach out for help. Free text 1737 for a trained counsellor. Members of the public who know about offending involving gangs, drugs or firearms can report it anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111,” said Mr Nash.