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Fires, Disorder And Armed Incident In Hamilton

Fires, Disorder And Armed Incident In Hamilton


New Zealand Police National News Release

8:12am 19 December 2008

http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release.html?id=4603


19 December 2008

In what was described as a fairly busy shift Hamilton Police dealt with a series of suspicious fires, serious disorder outside two city bars and reports of a man brandishing a firearm overnight.

In the first incident members of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad were called to a Deanwell address after Noise Control reported a man brandishing a firearm on the front porch of a house.

Two shots were reported to have been fired.

A cordon was established around the Susan Pl home and the occupants removed, a subsequent search recovered two air rifles and a gas powered air pistol.

One man was interviewed by Police and cautioned.

Things took a more serious turn shortly before 3am when Police and firefighters responded to five suspicious fires a short distance from each other.

The fires included the lighting of a skip full of paper at Hamilton Girls High School, the setting alight of a phone box on Lake Rd, a car and garden waste set fire on Queens Ave and a fire started in a bin by the gas mains of a hospital.

There were about 32 patients at Braemar Hospital when the fire started and around 15 were evacuated from the West Wing while the fire was contained.

Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Assistant Fire Commander Roy Breeze credited the hospital's sprinkler system in halting the spread of the fire in the roof of the building.

Two men seen acting suspiciously near the scene of the fires were spoken to by Police, one of the pair, a 22-ear-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with three of the fires and will appear in the Hamilton District Court later today.

If assisting at the scenes of the fires wasn't enough to keep Hamilton's night shift occupied a large brawl erupted on the road outside two city bars on Alexandra St about 3.15am.

The brawl involved about 60 people and Police formed skirmish lines to break up and disperse the crowd.

Three people were arrested as a result of the incident which has prompted a warning from the City's Police commanders to those intending to disrupt the festive season.

Hamilton City Tactical Response Manager, Inspector Karen Henrikson, said any incidents of disorder would be dealt with in swift and forthright manner.

"There will be a highly visible Police presence in the CBD over the festive season and we'll be enforcing a zero tolerance policy towards breaches of the alcohol ban and any incidents of alcohol related violence or disorder.

"Working with licensees through the City's Alcohol Accord and with partner agencies we're confident incidents such as what occurred this morning will be kept to a minimum and those involved in any develop can expect the full weight of the law to come down on them."

End

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