Backlash from gang fight unlikely, say police

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 13/08/2014

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Timaru police do not believe there will be repercussions after a Stafford St gang fight earlier this month.

Two members of the Mongrel Mob and two members of Black Power fought on the main street during a lunch time. A window of a clothing store was broken in the incident.

Sergeant Kevin McErlain said he had spoken to the presidents of Mongrel Mob and Black Power, and they had assured him there would be no further sanctioned violence.

"We can only take them at their word," he said.

McErlain said Timaru did not have a gang problem and there was not an upsurge in gang-related activity.

"We talked to the groups directly after the fight to make sure it wasn't a case of ongoing issues. Going and having those discussions was about preventative policing," he said.

Since the fight there have been several incidents involving gang members.

These have included arrests of gang members for breaching the inner-city liquor ban and a gang member who allegedly assaulted his partner with a glass bottle.

However McErlain believed those incidents were coincidental, as opposed to following a pattern or happening under instruction from the gang hierarchy.

At the time of the incident, Sergeant Dave Hinde said it was a "one-off" and police had not had to deal with any further issues resulting from the fight.

The fact that the fight took place during the day in such a public place was unusual, he said.

"If anyone has any worries they can call the police, but we haven't had any other issues."

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- The Timaru Herald

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