New Zealand police have laid charges against numerous motorists and seized cars and other vehicles over dangerous driving which took place at the funeral of a gang member in Auckland last month.
Several hundred members of the Tribesmen gang – driving cars, utes and motorcycles – took part in the procession on the city’s North Shore on 7 November.
Eight people are facing court action and seven vehicles have been impounded to date as police continue to investigate the dangerous driving behaviour that occurred during the procession.
Vehicles driven on wrong side of the road
Police said complaints from the public included vehicles being driven on the wrong side of the road, intersections being blocked, passengers sitting outside vehicle windows, dangerous overtaking, motorcyclists not wearing helmets, and sustained loss of traction (wheel spinning) in close proximity to pedestrians.
In addition to the charges and vehicle seizures, almost 300 infringement notices have been issued to drivers involved in the dangerous driving.
“[We] have continued our enquiries to identify the individuals involved in serious driving offences, including reviewing footage of this activity,” a statement said.
Sixteen vehicles involved in serious offences
“Sixteen vehicles have been identified as being involved in serious driving offences. Police have now located and impounded seven of these vehicles.
“Eight drivers have been prosecuted and are appearing in court in relation to driving offences.”
Inspector Simon Walker, Waitemata East Acting Area Commander, stated that investigations will continue in an effort to locate and impound the outstanding vehicles, and identify and prosecute the drivers involved.
Such road behaviour will not be tolerated
“Many of the drivers in this procession presented a very real risk not only to their own safety and their passengers, but also to other road users and our wider community. This type of behaviour on our roads will not be tolerated by [the] police and our community.”
According to a report by the New Zealand Herald, the procession was to honour Tribesmen gang member Merc Papa-Hugh Lei-Tama Maumasi-Rihari, 21, who died while riding with other gang members on the SH1 in Canterbury the weekend before.
On the day, police monitored and filmed the procession using ground units and a helicopter.