A public meeting will be held at Baycourt, starting at 7pm on Thursday night (20 February), to discuss gang violence issues in the western Bay of Plenty.
The meeting will be facilitated by Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell and Western Bay of Plenty District Mayor Garry Webber. Police Western Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Inspector Clifford Paxton, will provide an update on the current situation and outline the issues which are contributing to the current spate of gang violence. He will also discuss the measures Police have in place to protect public safety.
Mayor Powell said there would be opportunities for people attending to ask questions, or put forward suggestions.
“I’m very aware that there is a significant level of concern at the way the confrontations between gangs have developed in the western Bay and the level of violence that has occurred. The Police’s first priority is to keep our community safe and I fully support their efforts,” he said. “This meeting will update the community on what’s behind the current situation and what we can do to help.”
He added that the meeting is a non-political event, based on the philosophy of kotahitanga – togetherness and collective action.