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National says target gangs to crack 'P'


National says target gangs to crack 'P'

National is calling for a tougher crackdown on the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine.

"With recent media coverage of the appalling human cost of P, it's high time the Government turned the spotlight on the drug dealing gangs flooding the community with this insidious drug," says National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

"Police resources must be boosted. We need more police targeting the dealers who are making millions out of this illegal industry.

"The Police Association is right in accusing the Government of doing too little too late. A review of laws on asset seizure "next year" is far too late - by that time, another $200 million of drugs will have hit the streets, courtesy of the gangs."

Mr Ryall says it is estimated that 95% of P distribution is gang-controlled and says he's been told of one gang in Auckland with assets in excess of $10 million.

"How can someone with no obvious source of income have a $50,000 motorbike? National says if a convicted drug dealer can't prove their assets were legally obtained, those assets should be seized.

"The fact that not a single dollar of drug dealers' money has been confiscated this year proves that the Proceeds of Crime Act isn't working, and needs an urgent review," says Mr Ryall.

"Gangs are getting away scot-free under the current law.

"More police resources are needed to boost ESR testing. The current backlog is holding up the prosecution of numerous drug dealing gang members.

"But all this Government is offering is two specialist units - in six months' time. That's not good enough," says Mr Ryall.

"National has been pressuring Ministers Goff and Hawkins for action for more than three years. It's time Labour realised the P problem won't be solved by just setting up another committee," he says.

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