Over the past two days Whanganui Police have made a serious dent in the supply and distribution of methamphetamine in Whanganui.
Sixty staff from across the Central Police District have assisted in executing 15 search warrants at residential properties across Whanganui.
The searches were supported by members of the Armed Offenders Squad. This was done for the safety of the staff involved and for the safety of the community. Some firearms were located but the public were not at risk at any time.
A total of 17 people have been arrested and face charges ranging from possession of methamphetamine for supply, supplying methamphetamine, cultivating cannabis, and supplying cannabis.
Over 100 grams of methamphetamine has been recovered during the searches, plus firearms and cannabis. The methamphetamine alone has an approximate street value of between $40,000 and $85,000.
Stolen property also located included a motor vehicle, chainsaws, and televisions. From enquiries completed to date it appears some of these have been stolen for the purpose of swapping for methamphetamine.
Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby says that a major disappointment when officers executed the search warrants was that young children were found at three of the addresses in environments that were completely inappropriate for children.
"It’s tragic that people engaging in these illegal and dangerous activities have young children present and don't believe or care about the negative impact it is having on their children,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Kirby.
"The use of methamphetamine is damaging families in this community and the Police, Child Youth and Family, and community groups will continue to work together and take a proactive approach to protect children and prevent them having to live in these environments."
Child Youth and Family assisted in ensuring the children were removed from their environment and placed with extended family for their own wellbeing.
“The officers involved in this operation have spent long hours over many months investigating the supply and distribution of methamphetamine into the community. These arrests are the culmination of those efforts and show the determination to disrupt the flow of drugs.
“People don’t want illicit drugs tainting their communities and this is made clear by the public passing on information to us.
"The public can be assured that Police will continue to target people that think they can bring methamphetamine into the community and distribute it,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Kirby.
If you have information about drug manufacture or supply rings please call your local Police Station. Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Sara Stavropoulos on 027 702 0850.