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NZ must toughen up laws on gangs


NZ must toughen up laws on gangs

National says it supports the comments of an Australian police officer that New Zealand's soft laws toward gangs make it a target after a crack down on gangs in Australia.

"Fred Gere's comments to the Police Association conference are exactly right -New Zealand needs to be vigilant over gangs. We've been saying for some time that our law is too soft on gangs," says National Police Spokesman Tony Ryall.

"A review of laws on assets seizure next year is far too late to be taking action. P for example, is escalating as a problem by the week. By next year gangs will have pushed another $200m of drugs out onto the streets. "Police also need more resources to process prosecutions, where there is a large backlog in prosecuting drug dealers. The two specialist units starting in six months is not soon enough.

"New Zealand should follow Australia's lead in toughening up on laws to curtail gangs. Otherwise we'll become a victim of growing gang activity as pointed out by the Australian expert today," Mr Ryall says.

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