UPDATE on Crash at Tokoroa

Source: New Zealand Police

Emergency services are still working to free a driver trapped in a truck which collided with another truck on SH1 at Tokoroa between Main Road and Galaxy Road.

The crash happened at 3.55pm today. The trapped driver has critical injuries and the driver of the other truck has suffered minor injuries.

The road will be blocked for some hours while the trucks are moved off the road with a heavy haulage crane.

Motorists are asked to avoid the area until the scene is cleared and observe all diversions which may be in place.  There will be delays.

ENDS.

Issued by Police Media Centre

Update – man wanted following incident outside Christchurch mosque (PHOTO)

Source: New Zealand Police

Police can now release additional images of the man wanted following the incident at Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue last night.

He is described as Caucasian, of solid build with short dark hair and a tattoo on his left shoulder/neck area.

A dedicated team of detectives are working through the night following positive lines of enquiry to identify this man.

Anyone with information that could help is urged to contact Christchurch Police on (03) 363 2500 and ask for duty CIB.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

Police officer charged in Auckland City District

Source: New Zealand Police

Attribute to Superintendent Karyn Malthus, Auckland City District Commander:

Police have summonsed a 30-year-old male Police officer from the Auckland City District to appear in court on a charge of dangerous driving.

The officer appeared earlier today in the Auckland District Court.

He was charged following a review of a fleeing driver incident that allegedly occurred on-duty while undertaking urgent driving duties.

The officer is currently on restricted duties.

As the matter is before the courts, Police are unable to comment further.

ENDS

Jarred Williamson/NZ Police

Serious crash involving two trucks on SH1 Tokoroa

Source: New Zealand Police

Police and emergency services are responding to a collision involving two trucks on SH1 Tokoroa.

The crash happened at 3.55pm and involves two large trucks, which are now blocking both lanes.

One person is trapped in one of the truck cabs, but we don’t have details on injury status yet.

The road will be closed for some time while Police wait for a heavy haulage tow to move the vehicles.

Motorists are asked to take a different route, be paitent or observe any diversions put in place.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

Name release – fatal crash, Te Puke

Source: New Zealand Police

Police are now able to release the name of the cyclist who died after a crash in Te Puke on Tuesday 9 April.

He was 66-year-old Dennis Malcolm Hills of Papamoa.

Police extends its condolences to his family and friends.

The crash occurred on the Te Puke Highway around 4:50am. The investigation into the crash is continuing.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or who can help the investigation is asked to contact Tauranga Police on 07 577 4300. 

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

Six people arrested following major organised crime operation targeting Comanchero gang

Source: New Zealand Police

Six people arrested following major organised crime operation targeting Comanchero gang

New Zealand Police have arrested six people after executing a number of search warrants targeting members and associates of the Comanchero motorcycle gang.

More than 80 Police staff executed search warrants at ten properties across the Auckland region today, including members of the Armed Offenders Squad, Dog Section and Specialist Search Group.

The warrants are part of the second phase of an investigation dubbed Operation Nova, run by the National Organised Crime Group.

The first phase, terminated on February 12th, saw the arrest of five people in New Zealand and one person in Fiji, as well as the seizure of about 11kgs of methamphetamine, and 39kgs of cocaine. The seized substances had a combined street value of over $25 million.

As part of today’s efforts, almost $4 million in assets have been restrained including two residential properties and several high end vehicles, including a number of Range Rovers, a Rolls Royce and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

About $60,000 of cash and firearms have been seized, including a loaded pistol at one address, and a MSSA pistol grip shotgun and rounds of ammunition at another.   

National Organised Crime Group’s Detective Superintendent Greg Williams says the operation has targeted some senior members of the Comancheros who hold leadership positions within the gang.

He says the operation has dealt a heavy blow to the Comanchero and will go a long way to reducing the gang’s influence and the social harm they cause.

“The Comancheros have established themselves in East Auckland after patched members, who were deported from Australia, established a chapter. We estimate there are currently about 20 members and associates in that chapter.”

Our investigation also revealed plans to allegedly import methamphetamine, and approximately $1 million dollars’ worth of its precursor, Ephedrine, into New Zealand.

The National Manager of the Financial Crime Group, Detective Superintendent Iain Chapman, says Police have also identified professionals including a lawyer and an accountant, who have allegedly been providing aid to the gang by helping them to setup businesses or trusts for the purpose of money laundering.

Enquiries into this are ongoing.

“The offending being alleged here generates significant cash and organised crime groups rely more and more on professionals to hide its true origin so they can benefit from the proceeds,” he says.

“Professionals who aid these gangs will be held to account,” says Detective Superintendent Iain Chapman.  

 “The Comancheros are rapidly expanding in New Zealand and are trying to establish themselves as one of the leading gangs in this country. Today’s operation should send a clear message to them that Police have their sights fixed firmly on them and the professionals who aid their offending.”

“Essentially gangs cause immeasurable harm to our communities by selling them drugs. They then use that money to lead a lavish lifestyle and drive around in high-end vehicles to market themselves. Meanwhile, the people they’re preying on, and their families are suffering,” he says.

Today’s seizures will help strip the gang of symbols of status and the influence they use to attract others to join.

“Profit is what drives organised crime, and so we will continue to target this motivation for people to become involved in such crime.”  

Six men have been arrested.

A 31-year-old has been charged with money laundering, participating in an organised criminal group, conspiracy to import a class A drug, conspiracy to supply a class B drug and unlawful possession of a firearm.

A 30-year-old has been charged with money laundering and participating in an organised criminal group.

A 28-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to supply a class B controlled drug, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

A 41-year-old has been charged with money laundering and participating in organised criminal group, 

A 24-year-old and 36-year-old have also been charged with money laundering.

All are expected to appear in the Auckland District Court this afternoon.

This investigation remains ongoing and at this stage Police cannot rule out the possibility of further restraints and arrests.

ENDS

Adriana Weber/NZ Police

Media note: Video footage can be made avaliable later this afternoon upon request. Please send an email to media@police.govt.nz to request these. 

Vigilance urged on roads following serious crashes

Source: New Zealand Police

Nelson Bays Police are urging people to remain vigilant when driving on the region’s roads following a spate of serious crashes.

Area Commander Inspector Paul Borrell said the Nelson and Tasman community is hurting following the recent deaths of a motorcyclist and a cyclist in crashes over the past fortnight.

“Nationally the number of people killed on the roads in recent weeks has been a tragedy for us all and a timely reminder to exercise vigilance, courtesy, patience and to avoid fatigue when using our roads.

“This is even more of a concern as we head into the Easter school holidays and the winter months.”

New Zealand Police is absolutely committed to people getting through their journeys safely and makes no apologies for their strong focus on behaviours that impact on road safety.

The most common factors which contribute to deaths and serious injuries on the roads are speed too great for the conditions, vehicle occupants not being properly restrained in seat belts or child car seats, any distractions such as using cell phones whilst driving, and the impairment effects of alcohol, drugs or fatigue.

“Current indications are that a significant number of serious injury and fatal crashes involve distraction, often the use of cell phones, therefore causes that are entirely preventable,” Inspector Borrell said.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says the number of serious accidents lately has been devastating for many in our community.

“It’s been a dreadful few weeks on our nation’s roads and sadly the Nelson region is no exception.

“I implore all road users to be focused and patient, and to plan trips with plenty of time to reach your destination. 

“It is our duty to concentrate and be attentive to ensure we all stay safe,” she said.

NZ Transport Agency Director of Safety and Environment Harry Wilson says the deaths and injuries sustained in crashes have a huge impact on communities.

“Every death or serious injury is a tragedy, affecting people for years to come.

“We know people can mistakes when they’re driving, which is why it’s so important that we all do the simple things to lessen the impact of those mistakes,” Mr Wilson says.

In preparation for the changing weather conditions at this time of year, Inspector Borrell advises owners to check their vehicles to ensure they are winter-ready with appropriate tyres and well-maintained brakes.

He also urges motorists to be especially careful and vigilant when approaching cyclists who are extremely vulnerable to injury when involved in collisions.

“It’s crucial cyclists wear high visibility clothing and have appropriate lighting as the days grow shorter,” he said.

Police patrols will be especially visible on the roads and highways across Nelson Bays over the coming weeks, with a specific focus on restraints, impairment, distraction and speed.

Traffic checkpoints are also planned for alcohol breath screening of all drivers stopped.  

Reduced speed enforcement thresholds for speed cameras will be applied over the official Easter holiday period as a proven, effective tactic to reduce high speed and injury.   

ENDS 

Issued by Police Media Centre 

Man wanted following incident outside Christchurch mosque

Source: New Zealand Police

Canterbury Police are searching for a man following an incident outside the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch last night.

At around 4.30pm a man shouted abuse at worshippers.

The man is described as Caucasian, with dark hair and of solid build.

He was wearing a black t-shirt with the word ‘Trump’ written on the back and a dark baseball cap.

Following the incident he walked across Hagley Park towards the city.

Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price says this is being treated extremely seriously.

“I spent time at the Masjid Al Noor mosque last night and the community is understandably shaken by this behaviour.

“Two armed officers were outside the mosque at the time, we are reviewing our response to this incident.

“Our community has no tolerance for those who target or victimise others because of their identity, and nor does Police. This is especially so for members of our Muslim community who are already dealing with so much,” he says.

Anyone who recognises this man or who was in the area last night and saw something that might help is urged to contact Christchurch Police on (03) 363 2500 and ask to be put through to the CIB duty squad.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

ENDS 

Issued by Police Media Centre

Correction: Whanganui homicide

Source: New Zealand Police

In a media release earlier today, Police advised that a homicide victim had been found at a residential property in Liverpool Street, Whanganui.
 
This was incorrect – the victim was located at a residential property on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Ingestre Street.
 
Police apologise for the error and any confusion caused. 
 
ENDS
 
Issued by Police Media Centre. 
 
 
 

Hawkes Bay Expressway

Source: New Zealand Police

Diversions are in place following a crash on the Hawkes Bay Expressway.

Police were called to the scene about 11.15am.

There were no serious injuries reported.

Southbound traffic is being diverted at Meanee Rd, and northbound traffic is being diverted at Links Rd/Pakowhai Rd. 

ENDS