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Organised Crime Unit Positions Being Rolled Out Across Tasman

Tasman District Police are focused on eliminating organised crime and 
limiting the harm caused by gangs, with the rollout of further Organised 
Crime Unit (OCU) positions in the district.

Over three years, the goal is to build up an OCU presence in both the West 
Coast and Marlborough areas, says Detective Inspector Mark Chenery.

The rollout to other areas began last year with two Detective Constables 
being placed in the West Coast OCU.

“This year, I have appointed a Detective Sergeant to the West Coast and 
there are two Marlborough Detective Constable positions currently being 

“We will continue to build on this, adding further OCU positions to the 
West Coast, Marlborough and Nelson in 2022.”

“The new OCU positions support the current Tactical Crime Unit. The goal is 
to provide a more direct focus on each areas’ organised crime 

Police are aware of locals reporting more overt gang activity in the 
community, with more patches and gang paraphernalia.

“The behaviour of these individuals is designed to intimidate, and has not 
historically been part of our community makeup.

“We’re concerned about the unease this brings members of our community 
and we are determined to ensure everyone is safe and feels safe.”

This has been evident in several recent operations targeting drug offending, 
which have resulted in drugs and firearms being located and seized.

One of these was West Coast Operation Joaquin in September, which saw three 
people arrested on charges including supplying methamphetamine, cultivating 
cannabis, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Police will continue to take a hard line on organised criminal groups, and 
locals can expect to see further search warrants, arrests, and targeting of 
members of organised criminal groups.

This offending causes huge social harm to our community and Police is 
committed to limiting this harm.

“We also work with our partner agencies, iwi, and community organisations 
to ensure there is support for families and victims, as well as for offenders 
who want help to change. Groups such as the recently announced 
Methamphetamine Impact Group on the West Coast are a good example of agencies 
and NGOs working together to rid this behaviour from our communities.”

We also need the public’s help. The smallest piece of information on 
activity or people you find suspicious, could be the key Police need to open 
or further investigations into criminal offending.

When coming forward to Police, your identity can be kept anonymous – and 
there is also Crime Stoppers, on 0800 555 111, who can receive information 
and tips on behalf of Police.

Alternatively, you can speak confidentially with Detective Sergeant Brent 
Lyford the new Head of the West Coast OCU Unit, to share information that may 
help Police.

Together we can keep our communities safe from the intimidation and harm that 
organised crime causes.

© Scoop Media

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