Wednesday, 18 July 2007 - 5:11pm |
National News

NZ Police Clan Lab Report for 2006

1 min read

New Zealand Police dismantled 211 clan labs in 2006, an increase of 3.43 percent on 2005 and the highest number dismantled since recording began in 1996.

Waitemata Police district recorded the highest individual number of labs (46), but also experienced the largest percentage decrease (almost 5 percent). Waikato (35), Counties Manukau (30) and Bay of Plenty (25) also recorded increases.

Mick Alexander, head of the National Drug Intelligence Bureau says most labs continue to be found in domestic residences and vehicles, and continue to be relatively small "mom and pop" operations.

Some labs have been found in public places. These have included a range of sites, from collections of chemicals or equipment "dumped or hidden in parks or on the side of the road, through to an almost complete clan lab left at a police station.

"Perhaps one of the most concerning within this category was a lab located in a school playground at a Christchurch primary school," Mr Alexander said.

One third of all labs dismantled by Police were complete, though not always active.

One in three clan labs found in houses had children present.

"Obviously, this is very concerning. Parents of these children are putting their drug use and their greed before their children's safety. There are significant risk factors for children at clan lab scenes including exposure to toxic chemicals, and the danger of fire or explosion. This is compounded by the fact that their parents or caregivers are likely to be methamphetamine users," Mr Alexander said.

One in three of all clan labs had weapons present, ranging from knives to military style semi-automatic machine guns. Improvised and other explosive devices were also located. This significantly compounds the risk of harm.

"We know that those involved in clan labs are actively involved in other types of crime, including the use and distribution of other drugs, burglary and gang activities."

"Police will continue to be vigilant in the detection and dismantling of clan labs, Mr Alexander said.


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