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Nine arrested

The Armed Offenders Squad [pictured in an earlier operation] were called to a Cornwall St property on Monday night. PHOTOS/FILE

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Nine people were arrested on drugs, firearms, and lockdown breaches at a Cornwall St property in Masterton on Monday night.

The incident involved the Armed Offenders Squad, Wairarapa Police response manager Senior Sergeant Jen Hansen said.

“There’s been serious offending here in relation to drugs and firearms so we have responded as we always would,” she said.

Four people were arrested while leaving the property, which had come to the attention of police for people congregating, by car.

The AOS was called to assist with entering the property, as a firearm was believed to be present – a further five people were arrested inside.

A 28-year-old man was arrested in relation to an existing warrant and charged with methamphetamine possession.

A 33-year-old male was also charged with methamphetamine possession, while a 35-year-old male received a pre-charge warning for possession of drug utensils.

A 26-male was also arrested and charged with possession of ammunitions after a loaded sawn-off .22 rifle was recovered.

Two 37-year-old women, a 40-year-old woman and a 28-year-old male received pre-charge warnings for breaching the covid-19 lockdown.

The 40-year-old was also given a pre-charge warning in relation to cannabis possession.

A 36-year-old male was arrested but later released without charge.

Hansen said it was frustrating that some people were not taking the lockdown rules seriously, as it put frontline staff like health workers and police at risk, many of whom were making great personal sacrifices.

“There have certainly been people who continue to flout the lockdown.”

As the country approached the three-week mark, she acknowledged people were “starting to show the strain”.

“People have to be patient. We don’t know if it’s going to be one more week yet, but if we start flouting the rules now, it may well be more than one week.”

She asked that people “hang in there”.

On Friday last week, police also arrested a 21-year-old woman after she was located in a stolen car in Featherston.

A short pursuit led to her arrest during which she frequently spat at and told police she had been experiencing covid-19 symptoms.

She was due to appear in Masterton District Court on several charges.

The police involved had been wearing protective masks but called Healthline for advice and were told to take appropriate cleaning measures.

Wairarapa Police Area Commander Scott Miller. PHOTO/FILE

Wairarapa Police Area Commander Scott Miller said the majority of people in Wairarapa had been adhering to the lockdown rules but it was disappointing others were not.

“It’s disappointing that there’s a small part of our community taking advantage of the lockdown, ignoring the rules and carrying on with criminal activity.”

Those breaking the lockdown were the ones most likely to increase the spread of covid-19 which could lead to the lockdown being extended, he said

He said several people had been turned around after trying to leave the region over the Easter weekend, including one man who was on his fourth breach.

The Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, said on Sunday there had been 847 breaches of the lockdown rules so far and 109 prosecutions.

Police had issued more than 700 warnings.

– Additional reporting RNZ


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