INDEPENDENT NEWS

Arrests Made Following Antisocial Road User Activity, Levin

Published: Sun 2 Jun 2024 06:08 PM
Inspector Ross Grantham, Manawatu Area Commander:
Police were pelted with rocks and bottles, injuring two officers and damaging two Police vehicles during anti-social road user activity in Levin overnight.
Six cars were impounded, one person was arrested for disorderly behaviour, and another was arrested for obstruction.
Around 30 Police staff, deployed to the area pre-emptively, were put at serious risk due to the aggressive behaviour of many of those involved.
The evening began in a carpark on Bath Street around 8pm with a gathering of more than 200 cars, each containing multiple passengers.
The convoy of vehicles then converged at the intersection of Queen Street and State Highway 57, before attempting to do burnouts at this location.
Police staff managed to disrupt the activity and move them on, but not before patrol cars were kicked by bystanders, who also threw bottles at the cars.
A man arrested for obstruction was found to have a flick-knife in his possession.
The group then moved to Miro Street in Otaki, where they proceeded to do more burnouts. Police chose to avoid actively engaging at this location, given it was an industrial cul de sac which would have posed further risk to our staff.
The group then headed back to Levin, to the intersection of State Highway 57 and Tavistock Road, where they blocked the road and did more burnouts.
A Police patrol attempted to drive through the group to disrupt them, however the observing crowd turned on the officers, kicking and bottling the car. The side window of the patrol vehicle was smashed.
Police were able to disperse some of the traffic, and drivers then headed to the intersection of Queen Street and State Highway 1.
Officers on foot armed with protective shields attempted to disperse the crowd, however, when officers turned into Oxford Street, the crowd had grown significantly and turned violent.
People threw bottles, rocks, and bricks at the retreating Police. Two officers received minor injuries from items hitting their legs.
A man arrested during this time for disorderly behaviour was allegedly wearing a stab-proof vest and carrying a large knife.
This is incredibly concerning, as it indicates that the crowd was not just car enthusiasts, but included people out to deliberately provoke, aggravate, and endanger.
To ensure the safety of officers, further anti-social driving behaviours such as burnouts were observed from a distance, and officers will be utilising footage taken and received, to follow up on illegal behaviour.
Police absolutely understand the stress and concern illegal and anti-social street racing causes members of the community, and we are committed to disrupting this activity by breaking it up when it occurs, and holding offenders to account.
However, this is an example of how incredibly dangerous these situations can become, and I’m very proud of my staff who put themselves in harm’s way.
Police go to work every day to help make our communities safer, and behaviour such as this which prevents officers from doing so is entirely unacceptable.
Police will be utilising tools such as CCTV, and other information gathered at the time, to follow up any other criminal offending.
Police thank everyone who reported concerns to us, and appeal to anyone who has information on illegal or unsafe activity to report this to Police via 105 with as much detail as possible.

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