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Police combating organised crime

Police combating organised crime

Gangs and organised crime groups are being investigated and prosecuted every week in New Zealand and there are several cases currently before the High Court, said Assistant Commissioner Peter Marshall.

"Police in the Districts are active in disrupting crime groups and are constantly aware of the moving environment in which the crime groups operate," said Mr Marshall.

"New Zealand is a comparatively small country with a single national Police service. There’s not much that happens of significance in the criminal world without Police getting to hear about it. We are well aware of criminal trends and issues."

There are a range of multi-agency operations being undertaken involving agencies such as Customs, Immigration Service and the Serious Fraud Office.

Police have built strong relationships with international police agencies particularly in the Asia region. Liaison officers are based in Sydney, Canberra, Bangkok, Fiji, the UK, the United States and Indonesia and proposals are being developed for an officer to be based in China.

Police are continually working with overseas agencies in an effort to stop criminal activity before it reaches here. For example last year Operation Outrigger in Fiji resulted in the bust of a major international group involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

"Most often people in the New Zealand will not be aware of some of the successful international operations which have involved the possible importation of drugs and other criminal activities to New Zealand."

Mr Marshall said Police were heartened with the Government’s proposed Civil Assets Forfeiture legislation.

"This will be very productive in unsettling crime groups whose common denominator is profit."

Recent investment in clan lab teams and a strategic focus on reducing crime and organised crime has resulted in a general reduction in crime over the last few years, said Mr Marshall.

Police will also continue to liase closely with the Ministry of Justice and other criminal justice sector partners as active contributors to the Government’s overall crime reduction strategy.

"The success of major crime operations very often depend on information and assistance from members of the public. This support is invaluable if we are to combat crime and in particular organised crime.

"However, it should be remembered that organised crime feeds on markets for drugs and stolen property and this is the challenge for society as a whole, not just Police, to address.

"I would like to acknowledge the huge amount of effort by Police staff who are deserving of praise rather than criticism for their hard work and ongoing successes.

"Police are very conscious of any concerns about organised crime in New Zealand, in whatever form it may take, and will continue to work with partner agencies nationally and internationally to make life as uncomfortable as possible for people who make a living out of criminal activities," said Mr Marshall.

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