- To the residents of Kawerau…
IN the wake of Operation Notus, which sees may Eastern Bay residents now appearing before the courts on methamphetamine-related charges, Sergeant Al Fenwick of the Kawerau Police has penned an option letter to the residents of his town.
He and other members of the police and community are hopeful the successful operation will prove to be the catalyst for change in Kawerau and eventually the wider Eastern Bay area when it comes to the social harm being caused by organised crime groups especially around the distribution of methamphetamine.
RESIDENTS of Kawerau,
As you are probably all aware now Kawerau has recently been the subject of long-term police operation targeting the supply of methamphetamine by organised crime groups to the Kawerau community.
During the course of the six-month operation police were able establish that in excess of $2.5 million worth of methamphetamine was alleged to have been supplied to Kawerau and other Eastern Bay communities. That is money the community can ill afford. It is food off the tables of our tamariki and clothes off their backs. It is burglaries, stand-overs and other crimes committed so those addicted can pay for their habits.
It is all the social harm done to the fabric of our families when they are forced to deal with the ongoing affects that addiction has on their loved ones.
This ongoing and consistent social damage has not happened by accident, rather by the alleged actions of organised crime groups whose sole focus has been increasing their own wealth without any consideration for the trail of crime, misery and social devastation they left in their wake.
The Kawerau Mongrel Mob and their most senior leaders were allegedly responsible for this cynical offending and based on the assets seized have been reaping the financial rewards.
Many of these alleged offenders have attempted to paint themselves as upstanding members of the Kawerau community with its best interests at heart, when this operation has shown that nothing could be further from the truth.
Kawerau is not unique in New Zealand with regard to having serious issues regarding methamphetamine and organised crime, in fact I suspect there are many other rural communities facing the same issues and problems.
Where we are unique now, however, is that this operation has provided the community with a circuit breaker regarding the cycle of drug addiction, organised crime and all the associated misery it brings.
There is now a window of opportunity for us as a community to make a stand against methamphetamine and the organised crime groups that push the drugs on our community.
It is only if we now stand together as a community that we can make it known that methamphetamine and the Mongrel Mob aren’t welcome in our town any longer.
Now is our opportunity to take a zero-tolerance approach to gangs and drugs and make a real difference. If we don’t it will only be a matter of time before things return to how they were before, and the opportunity will have been lost…