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Gangs Must Be Halted

Gangs Must Be Halted

New Zealand First has called on the Governmnt to outlaw dangerous gangs to prevent further outbreaks of violence such as the terrorism in the suburb of Highbury in Palmerston North.

Law and order spokesperson Ron Mark said the time had come to end the present pussy-footing approach to gang violence and intimidation.

“George Hawkins is the latest Minister of Police to be incapable of crushing gangs and breaking their hold of suburban communities,” said Mr Mark.

“Mr Hawkins espoused his intention to deal to gangs when he sat on select committee hearings nearly a decade ago. Recent events in Palmerston North show that he has no real stomach for that task.

“It’s not good enough for police to launch a renewed crackdown every time a gang member intimidates a court witness or a drive-by shooting occurs in a residential area. Gang violence is escalating, innocent people in the community live in unsafe neighbourhoods and this should simply not be happening.

“If the Government can outlaw groups known for terrorist activity, why doesn’t it outlaw groups known for their anti-social and violent behaviour?

“Why doesn’t it withdraw access to welfare benefits and evict those with gang affiliations from low-cost state housing?

“It is the Government’s responsibility to protect its citizens but gang violence is still a major problem in areas of New Zealand. It has tolerated the existence of gangs for far too long,” said Mr Mark.

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