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Gang Crime Escalates

Gang Crime Escalates

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today renewed her attack on Police Minister George Hawkins, demanding to know how he could allow gang-related crime to rise unchecked since 1999.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions show that, since 1999, the number of gang apprehensions has soared across the board, signalling a dramatic rise in gang-related crime," Dr Newman said.

"Apprehensions for dishonesty and property abuses show the largest increase, up 48 percent and 31 percent respectively. Sexual offences and drug offences are not far behind, both having risen almost 30 percent.

"This is unacceptable. Police have already warned that with gangs outnumbering police by three to one - and only ten specialist officers trying to control the gang-related methamphetamine explosion, which has risen by 300 percent - they are losing the war against gangs and crime.

"Keeping citizens safe is a core role of government. While in Opposition, Police Minister George Hawkins promised he would crack down on gangs. Yet, since being Minister, he has failed to do the job.

"Given these dreadful statistics that I am releasing today, Mr Hawkins must explain to all New Zealanders exactly how he intends to turn the situation around so it the police who are winning the war on crime and not the gangs," Dr Newman said.

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