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Armed patrols throughout Hawke's Bay, police reveal

Armed officers have been patrolling throughout Hawke's Bay since a spate of gang-related incidents in Napier on Sunday, police have revealed.

There were a spate of gang-related incidents in Napier on Sunday. Photo: Robyn Gallagher via Wikipedia

Two gang members were injured and a medical centre was shot at in four separate clashes between Mongrel Mob and Black Power gang members.

In another incident last night the police found three firearms in a vehicle driven by a Black Power member, detective senior sergeant Mike Foster told Nine to Noon.

"So at at that is three more firearms off the streets, but there are certainly issues at the moment. The need for armed police in Hawke's Bay was being reviewed on a daily basis," he said.

"We've seen gang members stabbed, we've seen turf wars down at Anderson Park between Mongrel Mob and Black Power, which is not unusual but it is ramping up so we've got staff visible down there at the moment."

There were about 1000 gang members in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, an increase of 58 percent over the last two years, and they were increasingly visible in the community, he said.

Fighting gang crime in Hawke's Bay & Gisborne duration 22:48
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"They're on their motorbikes, they're blinged up, they're wearing their patches everywhere."

The roaring methamphetamine trade was luring more younger members into gangs, he said.

"It's the cash, it's the wealth that comes with it, it's the flash motorbikes the flash cars and the cash they are all sort of flashing around that is the big driver."

A specialist gang taskforce had been operating in Hawke's Bay since May which was doing all it could, but the police acknowledged that they could not "arrest their way out of" the issue, he said.

"They've probably arrested well over 60 gang members in that time, seized over $250,000 in cash."

Mike Foster. Photo: RNZ Insight / Anneke Smith

Younger gang members were increasingly out of control because of meth and some gang leaders would admit they had lost control, he said.

The investigation into the four gang clashes on Sunday was "coming along nicely" but no arrests had yet been made, Mr Foster said.

A shot was fired at City Medical at the Napier Health Centre on Wellesley Street at about 7.30pm on Sunday following a conflict between Black Power and Mongrel Mob gang members.

Hours earlier, at 4.30pm, the police were called to Anderson Park following reports of "a number of men" fighting. One person received lacerations and was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital.

Earlier that day a gang member was hit by a car in Geddis Avenue.

The police said it was "an operational decision made at the time" to not tell the public on Sunday that officers would be armed in the region for the foreseeable future.

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