Cop attacked at Hamilton East drug shop

MATT BOWEN AND NARELLE HENSON
Last updated 14:23 14/01/2014
legal highs
BEN CURRAN/Fairfax NZ

COP ATTACKED: Police were called to the synthetic drugs shop on Hamilton East to keep the peace when customers turned on them.

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A police officer was attacked outside the Hamilton East synthetic drugs shop this morning.

Police were called to the Grey St shop about 9.15am after receiving reports of up to 20 people loitering outside the shop waiting for it to open.

The people were making members of the public feel "unsafe", senior sergeant Rupert Friend, of Hamilton police, said.

Officers were sent to the U njoY shop to keep the peace when one of the customers approached a police constable and tried to fight him.

He gave up but returned a few minutes later, tried again, and was arrested.

A second customer then jumped on the back of the constable, police said.

Back up was called and the two customers, both men, were arrested.

Two Hamilton men, aged 19 and 23, will be appearing in the Hamilton District Court today charged with offences including resisting arrest and assault police.

CAMPAIGN TO STOP CBD STORES

Meanwhile, The Hamilton Central Business Association has begun a campaign to keep psychoactive substances out of the CBD.

In June last year a law was passed giving councils the power to restrict sale of the substances.

Hamilton City Council recommended in December either Te Rapa or the Central Business District as the best location for sale of psychoactive substances.

Hamilton Central Business Association general manager Sandy Turner called the proposal to have it in the CBD "ludicrous."

"It's absolutely ludicrous that the Council propose that the CBD should be the preferred location.

"It has so many negative impacts on all the hard work that organisations like ourselves are doing in trying to enhance and reinvigorate the CBD for investors. It's just appalling."

She said antisocial behaviour resulting from drug takers would have an impact on the city's reputation, business bottom lines, and those willing to start up a business or branch in the central city.

Hamilton Central Business Association staff will be going door-to-door asking local business owners to sign a submission that the substance sales are restricted to Te Rapa. 

Ms Turner said the Association would not stop campaigning until the CBD was clear of the stores. 

''If it's on my watch, we won't stop until it is [banned].

''We're not prepared to just sit back and let this happen.''

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