POLICE

Police highlight the risk from drug offenders arming themselves following Thames search

Monday 5 March 2012, 11:06AM
By New Zealand Police
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THAMES

Waikato Police are currently interviewing three people following the early morning search of two Thames properties in relation to drugs and firearms related offences.

Detective Sergeant Graham Pitkethley of the Waikato Crime Control Unit said Hamilton based investigators joined with local Thames staff and members of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) to carry out the searches.

"Properties on Tui St, Thames, and an address near the intersection of SH25A and SH26 at Kopu were secured and are currently being searched.

"Given the threat posed by firearms believed to be in possession those at the properties, AOS members were used to secure the addresses in the interest of safety of the public, Police staff and indeed, the offenders as well."

Mr Pitkethley said increasingly offenders; particularly criminal specialists or members of organised criminal groups choose to arm themselves to protect their investments in the illegal drugs trade.

"This puts not only our staff at risk but members of the public in danger as well.

"The best way to protect your self and your family from the risks associated by such groups is to notify Police of any suspicious activity. We prefer you contact Police directly however if you are unable to information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."