'Something's stirred them up' – Waikato homicides see 'unusual' number of patched gang members in Hamilton says ex-cop

A former police officer turned Hamilton Council member says the three Waikato homicides have seen an "unusual" number of patched gang members on the streets of Hamilton and the deaths appear to "have stirred them up".

James Casson gave an interview to 1 NEWS' Katie Bradford today, following the violent deaths of three men in the Waikato region in the past month. 

"Something has stirred up the gang members, there has been quite a few patched different gangs in town here that is highly unusual so there is something going on here.

"Obviously these latest three homicides that police are saying are fairly much linked that's what will have done it and brought them out so there are concerns in the gang world as well," Mr Casson said.

The former cop has a warning for the public to be vigilant in the wake of the recent violence.

"They are targeting other gang members but the public can get caught in the crossfire and people can get hurt."

Read more: More than one gang involved in recent spate of Waikato homicides - police

Superintendent Bruce Bird says at this stage police are treating the three murders since June 30 as separate investigations. Source: Breakfast

He suggested a hui between gangs, police and council could help alleviate tensions.

"I encourage gang bosses to put out a truce and get a hui together with other gangs the police and council, I'd attend myself.

Three violent deaths in Waikato linked to gang crime, police say public not at risk. Source: 1 NEWS

"When you have gang meetings it gets things out in the open, gang bosses will know what's going on," Mr Cassson said.

However, speaking at a press conference today, Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said they were "targeted attacks" and the general community isn't in danger.

While Detective Pitkethley refused to name the gangs connected to the homicides, he assured that police have not heard talk of retaliations in the gang community.


James Casson, who is now a Hamilton Council member, says a hui between gangs, police and council could help alleviate tensions. Source: 1 NEWS