Operation Tauwhiro sees 987 firearms seized, 865 arrested
A national operation launched by Police earlier this year aiming to prevent firearms getting in the hands of criminals is seeing significant results, with hundreds of firearms seized.
987 firearms seized, nearly $5m in cash seized, and 865 arrests are the key figures from a New Zealand Police operation focused on disrupting and preventing firearms-related violence by criminal gangs and organised crime groups.
Operation Tauwhiro was launched in February by Commissioner of Police Andrew Coster as a six-month national operation. In that time it has had a significant impact in targeting the harm caused by those groups – and is why Commissioner Coster is today announcing an extension for a further six months, to continue this important work.
“Operation Tauwhiro is suppressing gang tensions by ensuring that groups using firearms-related violence receive the immediate and focused attention of Police,” Commissioner Coster says.
“The operation is also reducing harm by removing firearms from criminals and preventing them from getting firearms in the first place.”
“Police have been working to stop guns getting into the hands of criminal gangs and organised crime groups. This means working closely with our government partner agencies, with gun retailers, gun clubs and firearms licence holders to shut down the diversion of firearms from legitimate ownership to the possession of those involved in criminal activity and firearms-related violence."
This work continues as investigations into a range of associated offending are ongoing.
In addition to enforcement action, Police are working with communities to reduce, manage and mitigate the effect of organised crime and gun violence on whānau and communities.
This is being done via Operation Tauwhiro
as part of Police’s Organised
Crime Strategy, launched in January 2021. A key element of the strategy is to
address organised crime, its social drivers, and the harm it causes.
Community engagement and prevention
initiatives take different forms across
the country depending on what is needed in those areas. For example, in July Police joined approximately 100 people from the Māngere community to discuss community-driven solutions to gang tensions and gun-related crimes in the area. In rural communities, Police have been partnering with local providers to educate and inform members of the public about aspects of safe firearms use, ownership and responsibilities, and to ensure people who are living in more isolated communities who may be suffering from addiction can more easily gain access to the right services for themselves and their whānau.
“We appreciate the positive conversations we have had, and continue to have, with our partners and the community,” Commissioner Coster says.
Police welcomes information from anyone who has concerns about organised crime, or the illegal possession of firearms in their community. They are encouraged to report online at 105.police.govt.nz, call Police on 105, or report anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-nz.org .
Operation Tauwhiro will run until March 1, 2022.
Results as at 27 August 2021
Firearms seized – 987
Cash seized - $4.99m
Arrests – 865
data is provisional as it is drawn from live collection and
subject to change as further information becomes available.