New Zealand’s reputation as a safe country took another blow today when six people were arrested in the middle class Auckland suburb of North Shore.
According to a report in the NZ Herald neighbours called police after a shot was heard at a premises on Stott Avenue, Birkdale. Police cordoned off the street and
A witness said the police Eagle helicopter was circling Birkenhead College for about 45 minutes.
Three men were seen handcuffed on the ground outside the house.
Police would not say whether the incident was drug-related.
The incident was witnessed by Radgirl who posted about it on the Trade Me forum, saying
Oh no armed offenders down Stott Avenue
helicopter hovering and one guy on the ground in handcuffs!! 4 cop cars whats happening.
…we were told to all get inside the house so guess its bad
no one guess hellhole Auckland– can you believe that??!!
Late 2011 a P lab was uncovered in the area.
Each year New Zealand police find on average about 200 P labs, many of them operating in rented houses. Drug experts have warned that “makeshift labs are ticking time bombs that pose a risk to their occupants and to those who live unsuspectingly alongside them…Often the labs are uncovered only by accident – or after they explode.”
As well as the obvious risk of explosion and fire, contamination from the manufacture of the drug can render a house dangerous to live in, so be sure to know the history of your new home in New Zealand before you move in. Decontamination could cost you as much as $50,000.
Some statistics about P (July 2011) from TV3:
“Amphetamine prevalence in New Zealand remains among the highest in the world and injecting methamphetamine is on the rise, according to the latest United Nations report.
The World Drug Report 2011 shows 2.1 percent of New Zealanders aged 16-64 used amphetamines in the year 2007/2008 and rates of methamphetamine use are still rising, in contrast with Australia.
Among frequent injecting drug users in New Zealand those who injected methamphetamine increased from 40 percent in 2006 to 50 percent in 2009
Managing Director of Methcon and former police drug squad detective Dale Kirk says not enough is being done to educate people on the dangers of methamphetamine, or on getting addicts into meaningful programs to deal with addiction…” more here
You may also like: Daniel Vae & NZ’s War On Drugs
Police have finally managed to apprehend Daniel Vae, a patched member of the King Cobras, at an address in suburban Glenfield, North Shore, Auckland.
The operation was one of those textbook AOS raids, a ‘surgical strike’ into the heart of an otherwise peaceful neighbourhood, but two previous attempts to capture Vae last week (in Grey Lynn and Mount Roskill) weren’t so elegant and involved the use of tear gas.
Despite having searched a number of properties, presumably all of which may have offered him refuge, police have played down suggestions that there is a King Cobra chapter established on the North Shore, although there is the taint of gang activity there already with the Bloods and Crips at Glenfield College (see news report) and the Killer Beez.
In a North Shore Times report we are told:
“Detective sergeant Callum McNeill of Auckland Central’s organised crime unit says the King Cobras have about 300 patched members based in a factory-like building in Grey Lynn. He says they have west and south Auckland chapters and “hundreds of associates, some of whom live on the Shore”. “There’s nothing to suggest a north chapter. He believed it would be a safe place to hide, on the Shore.”
He went on to give the press a bit more information about how serious this gang is saying that their favoured weapon was a compact semi-automatic that could be concealed in a normal laptop bag.
“The .22 rifles were bought legally with licences. “The crooks are getting their hands on them, taking off the stocks, putting on pistol grips, putting on bigger magazines, and cutting down the barrel and putting on a silencer.” They are also getting Chinese tasers, which were smuggled into the country.” read the full report here
Last Saturday Auckland’s NZ Herald broke the news “Police tip bloodshed” saying that armed turf wars between Asian organised crime, street dealers and gangs could result in the spilling of blood.
According to DS McNeill, Vae had allegdly been taxing low-level methamphetamine dealers who were selling drugs near the King Cobra’s Grey Lynn headquarters.
Gangs demand $30,00o in taxes for dealing on their patch, failure to comply would mean the gang would beat-up the dealers and steal their drugs and money. However, a uneasy relationship between the Asian gangs (who import was pseudoephedrine) and local gangs (who buy it to cook meth) was starting to unravel.
“Some of the gangs are ripping off the Asians, who are starting to arm themselves too. So they’re all carrying guns when they’re doing these deals. It’s not going to be long before there is a shooting.”
Just how long New Zealand’s police can remain unarmed when faced with such well armed opposition is open to debate, but the AOS cannot be in all places at all times. The day must surely come when every NZ police officer will have access to a firearm.
Read more about:
Gangs of New Zealand (Wikiepedia)
Gangs in New Zealand (Time magazine)
Ross Kemp on Gangs - videos in the side bar