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Ed Sheeran

COVID checkpoints flush out drug runners
Photo: Getty Images.

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Police Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha says COVID-19 checkpoints may be crimping the drug trade in some vulnerable communities.

Iwi and Māori communities in Te Tairāwhiti and Te Tai Tokerau have established what they are calling community safety zones to check motorists and discourage unnecessary travel.

Mr Haumaha says police have given the groups advice on how to engage with people in a non-threatening manner and keep within the law.

The exercise has shown far too many people aren’t taking the stay at home order seriously, and have tried to sneak through to their holiday baches.

Others are continuing their drug activities despite the lockdown.

"We have had reports back that some people have been seen with substances in their vehicles so there will be those taking advantage at night, getting through in different areas and trying to conduct their drug dealing ways, and that concerns some people in small communities," he says.

Wally Haumaha says police want to encourage lawful ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 rather than take a heavy enforcement approach.

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