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Police operations targeting gang crime in several southern centres resulted in 17 arrests and more than 40 charges being laid since December.
More than 12 search warrants were executed at addresses throughout the district across Invercargill, Gore and Dunedin, with a "clear focus" on gang members, police said.
Police recovered a significant amount of stolen goods, and charges included possession of firearms, possession of class A controlled drugs, receiving stolen property and possession of methamphetamine.
Four vehicles were also impounded as a result of the warrants.
Many of those arrested had strong links to gangs and organised crime in the region, police said.
Southern police district acting district commander Acting Superintendent Darryl Sweeney, who took on the role in
December, said he introduced a push to "understand the gang environment" in the South.
"I’ve been here before, and I’ve probably noticed a change in the operating environment, with gangs.
"There is some presence here that we’re taking cognisance of, and we’re taking action."
That action included developing mid-to-long-term plan to target organised crime across the district.
"It’s an action-based plan, but it’s also a partnership plan across communities, social support, and everything that comes with social harm.
"There will be a difference, I’m sure of that."
A close eye was being kept on gang members moving from Australia, he said.
Another focus was methamphetamine being brought into the country, as production in New Zealand had slowed, he said.