Eastern Police to remain armed amid gang-tensions

File photo/Daniel Hines/SunLive.

Eastern Police are continuing to make progress investigating two recent firearms incidents in Ruatoria and Taradale, alongside responding to ongoing gang-related issues.

Around 12.35pm yesterday, police responded to a report of patched Mongrel Mob members converging in central Wairoa, says Detective Inspector Rob Jones.

"Upon arrival officers conducted a vehicle search and recovered two unlawful firearms and ammunition.

"A 25-year-old man was arrested and is due to appear in Gisborne District Court today charged with two counts of unlawfully possessing a firearm, and one count of unlawfully possessing ammunition."

In a separate incident, a 25-year-old Black Power associate was arrested about 9pm yesterday after being stopped by police.

A knife was recovered along with a small quantity of methamphetamine, and the man is due to appear in Napier District Court in the coming days charged with possession of an offensive weapon and drugs offences.

These incidents are further examples of gang members arming themselves unlawfully, and putting the public and Police staff at risk.

"We are concerned about the current situation and the potential for violence and threatening behaviour on our streets.

"Police will not tolerate people being put at risk, and we would like to sincerely thank those members of the public who have provided information or reported concerns, as this is helping Police respond and prevent further harm.

"We have increased the number of staff on the ground in Ruatoria and Taradale and stepped up the Police presence as we work to investigate and respond to the two firearms incidents and the wider ongoing issues between the Mongrel Mob and Black Power.

"A general arming order remains in place for frontline staff across the Eastern District as a precautionary measure," says Rob.

"This order will be assessed on a regular basis and is in place to ensure the safety of our communities."

Police will hold a public meeting with Napier City Council at the Taradale Community Hall at 3pm on Sunday 26 January, to speak with the community about the ongoing gang-related issues and wider community safety concerns.

Police urge anyone with information about gang activity, drugs or firearms, or anyone who has concerns, to call 105, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Anyone with immediate concerns for the safety of themselves or others should call 111.

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