Concerns raised as meth use increases in Central Otago tourism spots

Police in Central Otago are concerned about a rise in methamphetamine use in the region.

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It follows a recent increase in gang activity. Source: 1 NEWS

It follows a recent rise in gang activity, with worries it may lead to more violence and crime in tourism hotspots like Queenstown.

Over $200,000 worth of methamphetamine and more than $30,000 in cash along with other drugs was seized following search warrants in Queenstown on Monday.

Multiple arrests were also made following the search warrants executed in Queenstown and Cromwell, leading to two men being charged.

Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis says these warrants follow a recent warrant executed in Alexandra where methamphetamine was located and a person arrested.

"These warrants are generally related to organised crime and Otago Lakes Police will not let these individuals sell illicit drugs and accumulate wealth at the expense of the vulnerable members of our community," he said.

The tourist town of Queenstown is no stranger to party drugs like ecstasy and cocaine.

However, meth is a new concern - one the district mayor says he doesn't want to see damage the area's low-crime reputation.

"This is something I'm really, really concerned about," says Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult.

"We always pride ourselves on being a family-friendly holiday resort and I'm thoroughly disappointed this is coming into our district."

Both police and council are encouraging locals to be vigilant and report any drug-related activity.