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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Hamilton Police have this morning executed the second phase of Operation Shadow, targeting street racing and anti-social behaviour on roads across the district.

At 5am, ten search warrants were carried out and staff impounded four vehicles for sustained loss of traction offences – colloquially known as “burnouts”.

Two vehicles were impounded earlier this week as part of the ongoing operation.

Among the vehicles impounded this Wednesday morning was a Mazda Atenza with tyres so frayed the steel threads were showing.

Operation Shadow began in June 2019 to target illegal street racing around the Waikato District.

In response to several concerning incidents involving car enthusiasts undertaking reckless and dangerous behaviour, causing disturbance and posing a risk to themselves and others, Police launched a 12-week enforcement operation in March this year and seized five vehicles in phase one.

As part of the operation, Police gathered, assessed and investigated evidence from driving complaints made by members of the public, resulting in gaining 11 warrants.

Owners were also given an order to provide identification of the person driving at the time of the alleged incident.

Waikato Road Policing Manager Inspector Jeff Penno says Police don’t have anything against car enthusiasts.

“But if you’re going to use your vehicle to put other members of the public in danger or cause thousands of dollars of damage to the roads – Police will step in and take that vehicle away from you.”

Operation Shadow sends a message to both those involved in illegal street racing and to the public, he says.

“The aim is to disrupt and deter those committing these offences, and ensure our roads are safe for every member of the community using them.”

On average Waikato Police receive between 40 and 50 driving complaints from members of the public, predominately on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The majority of these complaints are related to people doing burnouts.

“This is high risk behaviour that is not tolerated by the community and we want to assure the public we will hold the offenders involved to account.”

Police value the information we receive from the public and will act on this information.

We encourage anyone who witnesses any dangerous driving behaviour to report it to Police either by calling 111 if it’s happening right then, or 105 if you’re reporting it later.

People can also report crimes anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.