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Labour Nurtures New Gang Generation

Labour Nurtures New Gang Generation

Tuesday 2 Sep 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

It is outrageous that, while denying police the resources they urgently need to combat New Zealand's gangs, Labour is financially supporting gang members and giving them the free time to commit crimes, ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions show that 27,245 people aged 16-24 currently receive the Unemployment Benefit. Further, reports have revealed the three gangs related to the recent death of a Mangere man have members aged 16-22," Dr Newman said.

"New Zealand's gangs are steadily becoming more violent and prolific, with the latest official crime figures showing gang crime having risen 65.7 percent since Labour took office. Police have already admitted they are having trouble coping with escalating gang crime - now they are faced with a new, younger gang generation.

"But, despite constant warnings, this soft-on-crime, soft-on-welfare Government - instead of providing police with the resources to tackle this problem - is pouring taxpayers' money into a welfare system that leaves far too many young people bored, with time on their hands to commit crime.

"I am calling on Police Minister George Hawkins and Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey to take a pro-active approach to this emerging crisis - give police the resources and mandate to crack down on criminal gangs, and the Work and Income Department a directive to ensure that all young people who can work do work," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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