More than 300 criminal charges have been laid against more
than 100 individuals during a Bay of Plenty police operation
focused on illicit drugs.
The operation took place over three months across all four
areas of the District - Rotorua, Eastern Bay or Plenty,
Western Bay of Plenty and Taupo.
In total, 15,351 cannabis plants were recovered or destroyed
in 315 locations as part of a phase targeting outdoor grows
in predominantly rural areas.
During a second phase a series of search warrants were
executed at properties, both urban and rural.
This phase saw the seizure of methamphetamine, cannabis, LSD,
ecstasy, firearms, ammunition and $28,000 in cash.
Stolen property including televisions and electrical
equipment was also recovered.
Of concern was the number of children found in properties
where drugs were being dealt and used.
Twenty-six children were located in 18 properties and a
number of referrals were made to Child, Youth and Family.
Detective Senior Sergeant Lindsay Pilbrow said it was not
just a one-off operation.
"The harm caused by illicit drugs remains a key focus for us.
"On a daily basis we continue to look for opportunities to
drive this sort of criminal activity out of our communities.
"It's sad and unacceptable that children, through no choice
of their own, are growing up in these unhealthy and often
"It's not the start to life that children deserve and it
motivates us to keep the pressure on."
Police said community information continued to be a crucial
and valuable factor in the success of the operations and Bay
of Plenty Police wanted to thank everyone who took a stand
against drugs by making a call.
If you have information about any drug activity you should
contact your local police.
Information can also be provided anonymously to the
organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Area breakdown of search warrants
Rotorua: 44 search warrants executed, 45 arrests
Western Bay of Plenty: 25 search warrants executed, 20
Eastern Bay of Plenty: 27 search warrants executed, 38
Taupo: 38 search warrants executed, 23 arrests