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Collins: Police Making Life Misery For NZ's Underbelly

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Judith Collins
Judith Collins

Police have been using new powers to make life a misery for New Zealand's underbelly, Police Minister Judith Collins said today.

Opening the New Zealand Police Association Conference in Wellington, Ms Collins said that over the past year Police had turned the tables on criminal gangs.

"When I addressed this conference last year I said that the rise of organised crime was one of the biggest threats to this country," Ms Collins said.

"Not only do criminal gangs generate much of the crime in the community in the form of drug dealing, violence and money laundering, but they increase the risk of corruption, which we do not want here in New Zealand.

"Since then, Police have been very busy making life a misery for New Zealand's underbelly.

"Armed with new powers to intercept gang communications, dismantle gang fortifications and seize property from criminals, Police have tackled the gangs head on."

As at the end of August, $29.7 million worth of assets had been restrained under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act. These assets are now in the hands of the Official Assignee awaiting further legal proceedings and orders.

In addition, an estimated $30.6 million worth of assets are being investigated as a result of methamphetamine offending.

Police are holding a further $7.8 million worth of assets that were seized under other legislation.

There has been a 15 percent increase in methamphetamine related offences this year compared to the two previous years and a 17 percent increase in apprehensions across the same period.

"The number of clan labs closed down is also up. Many of these labs have been found as a result of nationally co-ordinated investigations that are targeting organised crime," Ms Collins said.

"The amount of methamphetamine seized in 2010 to 30 July represents a 140 percent increase compared to the same period in 2009.

"Being a major drug supplier is not as easy and not as profitable it once was thanks to the outstanding work of New Zealand Police."

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