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Hard Policing The Answer To Gang Problem

Hard Policing The Answer To Gang Problem

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today said, in response to the outbreak of violent gang activity in Taneatua, that hard policing is the key to reducing New Zealand's criminal gang problems.

"If we want to get on top of the gang problem, we need a Government that is prepared to take a zero tolerance approach to gang offending - that means giving police the goal of eliminating organised gang crime," Dr Newman said.

"I believe that police could eliminate substantive gang crime in New Zealand within 12 months, if given the mandate and resources - that means police teams dedicated to gang crime in problem areas, like we used to have. With gangs outnumbering police three-to-one, it means more police on the beat - another 1,700 officers would give us the same level of police, per head of population, as Australia.

"The Crimes Act, and Summary Offences Act, must be strengthened - sending people to prison for associating with criminal gangs. It also means toughening the Proceeds of Crimes Act, and the Misuse of Drugs Act, so that property obtained through crime is forfeited.

"In reality, this means that the unemployed Mongrel Mob member would be afraid to wear his patch, or put a foot wrong, for fear that his $40,000 Harley Davidson will be seized.

"And it means tightening benefit entitlement for gang members, to ensure that unemployed gang members either get a full time job, or work for the dole for 40 hours a week. People actively engaged for 40 hours a week are far less likely to go out robbing and stealing than those who are paid to do nothing.

"Reducing the gang problem is not rocket science. It means enforcing existing laws and giving police the mandate to do their job properly. But it will also take a government that will focus on maintaining law and order - rather than the soft-on-crime Labour Government we currently have," Dr Newman said.

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