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15 arrests in Christchurch operation targeting drug activity

UPDATE: 15 arrests in Christchurch operation targeting drug activity

Police in northern Christchurch have made a total of 15 arrests and closed down a New Brighton 'tinnie house' during an operation in the area today.

Northern Sub Area Commander Senior Sergeant Roy Appley said 55 staff were involved in executing search warrants during the operation, which saw police visit 77 addresses in the northern part of the city.

"I believe we have sent a significant message to the criminal fraternity in this area that their continued involvement in illegal activities will not go unchecked," he said.

Of the 15 arrests, 14 were for drug-related activities including possession, cultivation and possession for supply. The other arrest was for theft.

Senior Sergeant Appley said police found a substantial quantity of cannabis being grown at the New Brighton address, which had video cameras and barricaded doors.

"We have located evidence at four other locations supporting the offence of cultivating cannabis, while three addresses visited revealed evidence of possession of cannabis. At another we recovered some stolen jewellery.

"At one address a bank book revealed some $35,000.00 in an account - which seemed to be at considerable odds with the person's known lifestyle."

Today's operation included execution of search warrants, warrants to arrest and breach of court-imposed conditions, as well as road policing work and checks on known criminals or suspicious locations.

"Not all the addresses we visited today have been offence-related. We have also visited a number of households that are known to us, to offer support for families that may be at risk of family violence, as we enter what can be a stressful time for many families."

In another case a man who was on 24-hour curfew left his address to get his medication and was surprised to be arrested by police upon his return. "He has been released and the matter reported but it is important that people understand court-imposed conditions are set for good reasons and cannot be changed without proper authority.

"Another area of concern today was the number of unsecured vehicles. We visited several mall car parks today and in one hour discovered more than 100 vehicles parked insecurely.

"There was some valuable property on display in these vehicles, including laptop computers and handbags - which make an easy target for criminals. Our message to shoppers is lock it up and cover it up, or risk losing it."

Drink driving was also targeted. In one instance a man was processed for drink driving with a breath alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit, while driving his family to the river to a swim. The driver had three previous drink driving convictions.

Senior Sergeant Appley said further arrests were likely over the coming weeks as a result of today's enquiries.


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