The Police commitment to reducing the availability of Cannabis in New Zealand and targeting those persons involved in the commercial cultivation and distribution of the drug, was again demonstrated in the results achieved in this years National Cannabis Crime Operation, said Detective Senior Sergeant Scott McGill.
The Operation, carried out between November 2004 and April 2005 resulted in:
â€žX approx 108,000 plants destroyed
â€žX 564 offenders arrested
â€žX 46 firearms seized
â€žX estimated $230,000 stolen property recovered
â€žX 75 kilograms dried cannabis plant material seized / destroyed
â€žX 5 Methamphetamine Laboratories located
Mr McGill said "the results show the commitment and dedication the staff around the country has to reducing the effects of drugs in our community.
The operation would not have been such a success without the assistance of the public, who make a major contribution by providing valuable information to the operation each year, which leads to plots being located and offenders arrested.
The staff worked especially hard this year to achieve these results, dedicating the successes in memory of Detective Hughes and Pilot Chris Scott who died in a plane accident in Queenstown whilst working on the operation", says Mr McGill.
As a result of the accident an internal Police review was conducted into the operation, however it is still planned to have a fixed wing and rotary aircraft flying in the operation. "A Police Air Advisory group has been formed to assist Police in the aerial decision making process around flying operations", said Mr McGill.
Planning for the 05 / 06 years operation has already begun, however Police were still awaiting the findings of the Traffic Accident Investigation Commission in relation to the Queenstown incident, and any subsequent recommendations would be taken under advisement.
Mr McGill said public with information about Cannabis cultivation are encouraged to contact their local Police station in confidence. "Police intend to continue their efforts to reduce the availability of cannabis and associated drugs within New Zealand, resulting in safer communities", says Mr McGill.
No value has been placed on the seized plant and plant material as it has been destroyed and financially is worth nothing.