Wednesday, 3 April 2024 - 10:09am |
Counties Manukau

Brake it up: Police make arrests, impound vehicles during illegal street racing event

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A Police checkpoint set up on Quay Street during Operation Tread
Police presence across Auckland continued to disrupt the event

A large road policing operation put a dampener on a planned illegal street racing event in Auckland over Easter.

Police used a raft of disruption and enforcement against hundreds of vehicles that took part in events on Saturday night, and into the early hours of Easter Sunday.

Acting Inspector Tyson Martin says Police from a range of different workgroups were involved in the operation.

Highlights of Operation Tread included arrests, impounded vehicles and more than 200 fines issued.

Police were there: from Quay Street in central Auckland, to Westgate, Onehunga, the North Shore, and even further south near Mangatāwhiri. 

“Police had staff right across the region at various hot spots where these vehicles would travel to meet up, drive dangerously and do burnouts,” acting Inspector Martin says.

“As soon as groups moved into these areas, Police were there to disrupt their plans and, in some areas, quickly set up checkpoints.

“We found in some cases our staff’s presence meant those taking part actually moved on and didn’t form into larger groups.”

Acting Inspector Martin says throughout the night, more than 1700 breath screening tests were conducted.

Eleven people were found to be over the limit, the highest of which allegedly blew 908mcgs of breath alcohol – nearly four times the legal limit.

Police issued 209 infringement notices for a range of driving and other offences on the night.

Twenty-eight green and pink stickers were issued against defective vehicles, with a further six vehicles impounded.

Several vehicles failed to stop for Police throughout the night.

One vehicle fled from Police at excessive speed on the Southern Motorway near Ramarama in the early hours of Sunday.

“At the time, staff did not pursue this vehicle given the excessive speeds involved, however we caught up with this vehicle in the west Auckland area later in the morning and the driver was arrested,” acting Inspector Martin says.

“Three men are also expected in the North Shore District Court after they failed to stop in Albany when seen driving at speed and running a red light.”

Enquiries are ongoing into other incidents, including a stolen vehicle that failed to stop for Police in the Neilson Street area.

Police from both Auckland and Waikato deployed to the area surrounding State Highway 2 in Mangatāwhiri to disrupt a large convoy of vehicles, acting Inspector Martin says.

“Highway Patrol staff from Waikato District issued a further 55 infringement notices and impounded a vehicle.

“Another driver was also found to be driving with excess breath alcohol.”

Acting Inspector Martin says Police know the risks these car meetings pose on the wider public.

“It’s not only a nuisance to residents and other road users, but the foolish behaviour is putting people at risk of serious harm.

“Unfortunately, we know people have been unnecessarily hurt because of these planned events in the past. Last year, a woman was seriously injured and lost her baby following an event in East Tamaki.

“We know the public are frustrated when they see public roads used in this way, and we are continuing to take action to disrupt and hold these people to account.”

Police continue to take illegal street racing seriously and the public can assist by reporting incidents they may witness in the community.

Call 111 if the incident is happening now or call 105 to report any matters or further information to assist Police investigations.

Operation Tread – by the numbers:

209 – IONs issued

28 - Green/pink stickers

1703 – Breath Screening Tests

11 – Excess Breath Alcohol offences

5 – Arrests made

13 – Court charges

6 – Vehicles impounded

6 – Forbidden to drive


Jarred Williamson/NZ Police

Related downloads

A Police checkpoint set up on Quay Street during Operation Tread
A Police checkpoint set up on Quay Street during Operation Tread PNG - 1MB
Police presence across Auckland continued to disrupt the event
Police presence across Auckland continued to disrupt the event PNG - 3MB