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Thursday, February 29, 2024

New Zealand police reach milestone in gang crackdown

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The New Zealand police have reached a major milestone filing over 28,000 charges related to Operation Cobalt focused on disrupting unlawful gang behavior.

“With over 28,000 charges, Police are getting gang members who offend off the streets, seizing their weapons, and keeping New Zealanders safe,” Minister of Police Stuart Nash said on Thursday.

Under Operation Cobalt, as of March 2, the police have seized 339 firearms, conducted 945 searches under warrant, and 647 warrantless searches, as well as issued 28,273 charges across a number of crime types, Nash said.

Introduced in last June, Operation Cobalt has had great success addressing serious offences and holding people who commit serious crimes to account, according to Nash.

“Police is in a strong position to respond to the issues that matter to communities as well as responding to natural disasters and emergencies like the recent floods and Cyclone Gabrielle,” he added.

Police have added 1,687 new officers to the front line since June 2017.

The Criminal Activity Intervention Legislation Bill is being progressed, which creates new offences and enforcement powers to give the police even more tools to combat gangs, Nash said.

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