23 arrested after gang altercations in Tauranga
All 23 gang members will appear in court today (file pic)
Twenty-three gang members will appear in Tauranga District Court today after altercations in the Tauranga area on Saturday.
Western Bay of Plenty police area commander Inspector Mike Clement said police were called an altercation in suburban Matapihi about 11.30am involving a group of patched gang members and an individual from a rival gang. The group left when police arrived.
"At 3pm, police responded to multiple calls from residents in Judea about a standoff between two rival gangs outside a known gang address," Mr Clement said.
An altercation had taken place before police arrived, and 13 people were subsequently arrested and charged with unlawful assembly.
Police later searched the Judea gang house and arrested a further 10 people, who were also charged with unlawful assembly.
"Police are well aware of the intimidating nature of groups of gang patches in public places, particularly in town centres and central business districts, as well as in neighbourhoods and on the roads," Mr Clement said.
"Their activities pose a risk not only to themselves but also to innocent members of the community and police. We won't hesitate to take further action and make additional arrests if we need to."