Wellington Scoop

Investigation continues into Sunday’s gang brawl in Stokes Valley park

News from NZ Police
Police are continuing to investigate a gang-related altercation at Delaney Park in Stokes Valley last Sunday afternoon.

We have had a very positive response from members of the public who either witnessed or have information in regards to the incident. We are working through the information provided and making good progress towards identifying those responsible.

We know this incident has been unsettling for the community and reassure residents that we are doing everything we can to hold those involved to account.

Police will retain a visible police presence in Stokes Valley as the investigation continues.

We would still like to hear from anyone who can assist the investigation but has not yet been in touch, particularly anyone who has CCTV cameras with coverage of the Delaney Park and George Street areas. If you can help, please contact Hutt Valley Police on 04 560 2600. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Report from RNZ – 14 January
Police are promising a round the clock presence in the Lower Hutt suburb of Stokes Valley until they establish who was involved in a brawl at a local park yesterday. Locals reported fighting involving patched gang members – believed to be Mongrel Mob and Black Power carrying machetes and guns – at Delaney Park.

Hutt Valley acting area commander James Mckay said police would speak with local gang members about what went on.

“Until we get to the bottom of what’s gone on there will be day-to-day, 24-hour patrols…it is to prevent a reoccurrence – aligned with our investigation team – to try and identify and hold those accountable.”

Mr Mckay was assuring the public they were not in danger and could continue to use the park.

It is the third gang-related incident in Stokes Valley in recent months.

Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace said it was unacceptable behaviour and must stop. “We do need to live in harmony. Surely they must understand this is not a good situation for the local community – and a lot of the children up that area are children from the gang members.”

Graeme Cole manages a local pub a couple of minutes’ walk from the park. He said some people cancelled their dinner bookings after the brawl last night – and admitted it was not a safe place to walk around in the evenings.

“Especially up in the upper parts of the valley… young people making their mark, I think that’s all it is.”

Mandi Lanceley proudly lives and works in Stokes Valley. She hoped the latest gang incident won’t tarnish her suburb’s reputation. “A lot of what we hear about Stokes Valley is very negative publicity – and there’s lots of really good stuff that goes on in our community.”

Earlier Report from RNZ
A Stokes Valley resident who witnessed yesterday’s gang brawl says she no longer feels safe in the suburb.

Police maintained a presence in the Lower Hutt suburb of Stokes Valley overnight following a brawl which witnesses said involved machetes, guns and gang members. After the incident on George Street, officers searched houses in the area; however no arrests were made.

A local resident, who did not want to be named, said she heard loud bangs in Delaney Park and about 15 Mongrel Mob members yelling and being aggressive to another group of people. She said those involved had come prepared for a fight.

“They were being really aggressive on both sides and we heard some bangs and then we just saw that a few of them had machetes.”

This is the latest gang-related incident in the suburb in recent months. In December a 39 year old man was shot and injured and in October a 21 year old man was shot.

The woman said she moved her young children to the suburb about eight months ago and would never have done so if she knew this kind of thing happened. She said the incident was terrifying, “especially it happening in the middle of the day on a Sunday, in a park where everyone goes to play”.

The woman said the situation with the gangs seemed to be getting worse and she did not think it was being addressed by the police or government.

“It’s horrible to know that this kind of thing actually happens and to have it happen on our front doorstep.”

Other witnesses on social media also described seeing Black Power members at the scene.

News from NZ Police
Police have searched several addresses on George Street in response to a firearms incident in Stokes Valley. It is believed a firearm was discharged during an altercation at Delaney Park around 3.45pm yesterday. At this stage no arrests have been made, however positive lines of enquiry are being followed.

“I want to reassure everyone that Police are committed to identifying those responsible for this incident,” says Inspector James Mckay. “We want the people of Stokes Valley to feel safe, and we want them to know that violence and the unlawful use of firearms will not be tolerated.”

If you have information that will assist us in identifying the offenders, or you have CCTV cameras with coverage of the Delaney Park area, please contact Hutt Valley Police on (04) 560 2600 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Report from RNZ – January 13
Police have made no arrests following an incident in Stokes Valley which social media users say involved guns, machetes and patched gang members.

The police were called to disorder in the Lower Hutt suburb at about 3.45pm. Armed police attended, and officers were searching houses in the George Street area to find the people involved. Police later said they were no longer searching and there were no reports of injuries.

A cordon that was in place has now been lifted, but there will be a police presence in the area overnight and enquiries are ongoing.

One person on social media said it was a huge group fighting in Delaney Park, which involved shotguns and machetes and that children were in the park at the time.

There have been two gang-related shootings in the suburb in the last few months, but the police would not confirm if this latest incident was also gang-related.