Police have filed more than 28,000 charges against gang members as part of Operation Cobalt, marking a major milestone in the organisation’s ongoing gangs crackdown.
“I’m extremely proud of the fantastic work that our Police has been doing to crack down on gangs, and keep our communities safe. The numbers speak for themselves – with over 28,000 charges, Police are getting gang members who offend off the streets, seizing their weapons, and keeping New Zealanders safe,” Police Minister, Stuart Nash said today.
Under Operation Cobalt, as of 2 March 2023, Police have:
- Seized 339 firearms;
- Conducted 945 searches under warrant, and 647 warrantless searches;
- Entered 28,273 charges across a number of crime types.
Launched in June last year, Operation Cobalt is focussed on disrupting unlawful gang behaviour. It has had great success addressing serious offending and holding people who commit serious crimes to account, the Police Minister said.
“It’s great to see that enforcement action by Police continues to help keep New Zealanders safe.”
“A high priority of cracking down on gangs and organised crime is why we are progressing the Criminal Activity Intervention Legislation Bill.”
The new legislation will see the creation of new offences and enforcement powers to give Police more tools to combat gangs.
“The Government also allocated $562 million for law and order in Budget 2022 for work targeting and removing unlawful firearms off the streets, progressing firearm prohibition orders, and investment in more Police with hundreds more officers focused on serious and organised crime.”
“We are committed to ensuring Police have the resources to hold those who commit serious and violent offences to account,” said Minister Nash.