Police in force on Tauranga highway

(Newshub.)
(Newshub.)

A large gathering of gang members has been confirmed as the reason behind a large police operation in the Tauranga suburb of Bethlehem.

Members of the Outlaw Motorcycle gang were believed to be attending a memorial service and police reacted out of concern for public safety.

They say that historically, gang rides have breached traffic laws and intimidate other motorists.

Police set up traffic stops and a booze bus and could be seen directing traffic through the roundabout on Tauranga West Rd and Te Paeroa Rd.

Police in force on Tauranga highway

The operation caused delays on State Highway 2 from Whakamarama into Bethlehem, with traffic reportedly slowing to a crawl.

Police say while the delays were unfortunate they make no apology for policing gangs.

Officer in charge of the operation Senior Sergeant Denis Murphy says police will continue to monitor the gangs' movements to prevent criminal activity.

"The stench of methamphetamine and crime wafts along behind gang members, and police encourage anyone who sees or hears anything about drug use or dealing to let us know," says Mr Murphy.

Mr Murphy says anyone who has information of illegal activity can provide it anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Newshub.