As Hamilton Police work to clean up the streets of dishonesty offenders breaching court imposed sanctions they say the discovery of an indoor cannabis growing operation proves age and gender is no barrier to offending.
City tactical coordinator Senior Sergeant Freda Grace says the latest phase of the longstanding Operation Persil saw 14 people arrested on a variety of offences.
“Operation Persil has been running over the past three years and resulted in the arrest of well over 400 people so far.
“The main focus of the operation is concentrating on recidivist dishonesty offenders and in particular ensuring they are adhering to court imposed sanctions such as bail conditions and restrictions on associations.
“This latest phase was no different and once again we also identified links between dishonesty offending, drugs and illegal firearms.”
In one case Police went to an East Hamilton home with a warrant to arrest for a man and got more than they bargained for when they discovered over 20 mature cannabis plants all standing between 5ft and 6ft tall.
“The man wasn’t there but while they were searching the Coates St property and assessing the significance of their discovery a 61-year-old woman came home and accepted responsibility for the cannabis.
“She was charged with possession of cannabis and wasn’t the only person facing such charges with a man from an address south of the City facing the same offence as well as firearms charges.”
In the second case, officers went to a Rukuhia address again looking for a man wanted on warrant where they found not only a small number of cannabis plants but a sawn-off shotgun as well.
“The links between dishonesty offending and the illegal drugs trade is now well established but increasingly offenders involved in such activity are also taking to arming themselves creating a risk not only to the public and our staff but themselves as well.”
Freda says people subjected to court imposed sanctions need to consider the risks involved in breaching them because initiatives such as Operation Persil will continue as police work to prevent the cycle of offending.
“If your conditions say you need to be at an address between certain hours then you need to adhere to them or expect a knock on the door from Police.
“Likewise if you are ordered not to drive you need to consider this because you can expect to encounter our staff anywhere and at any time.”
Results from the operation
5 persons arrested on warrants to arrest.
3 persons arrested for breach of bail.
1 person arrested for driving while disqualified.
2 persons arrested for cultivating cannabis.
1 person charged with possession of cannabis for supply.
1 person charged with possession of an offensive weapon.
Source: Waikato Police.