WATCH: Reckless Christchurch drivers high on meth

Publish Date
Thu, 9 Apr 2020, 9:12AM

WATCH: Reckless Christchurch drivers high on meth

Publish Date
Thu, 9 Apr 2020, 9:12AM

Christchurch drivers high on meth are some of the criminals caught by police with the help of the Eagle helicopter during its trial period in the city.

Police trialed the crime fighting flying tool for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March 2020.

During that time, police caught nine gang members who were arrested with the help of Eagle.

At the end of week four, Eagle attended over three hundred incidents and helped with over two hundred arrests.

Canterbury Police District Commander Superintendent John Price says firearms, drugs and ammunition were also seized following the arrests.

He says meth played a huge part in the serious crime incidents police attended, making offenders paranoid and even more violent.

Newstalk ZB Canterbury Mornings host Chris Lynch was allowed to fly with Eagle air crew.

He says the technology on-board is incredible and it was an eye opening experience seeing and hearing crew navigate the streets of Christchurch from the air.

“One of the cameras used on Eagle costs over half a million dollars and it’s easy to see why. The clarity of the lens, and the crew’s ability to switch from day mode to heat seeking night vision is breathtakingly crystal clear. There is no where for criminals to hide with these cameras." 

Lynch was given access to extraordinary footage from Eagle, and what he witnessed was "absolutely frightening" seeing drivers, allegedly high on meth driving like madmen on the roads.

Lynch says "watching these absolute idiots recklessly disregard the safety of other motorists was mind blowing. Seeing one driver smash his way into an intermediate school, where children were playing left me speechless and made me feel sick"

In one case, a drugged up motorist was driving through the city at over 100 kilometres an hour, running red lights in 30 kph speed limit areas.

It was truly disturbing, but even more worrying is that police say they're dealing with more and more offenders high on meth driving at all hours of the day and night. 

Police are now reviewing the trial, and crime related incidents before and during the trial to decide if the Eagle will return to Christchurch.