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Gang War Result Of Labour Apathy

Gang War Result Of Labour Apathy

The eruption of gang violence in Wairoa yesterday is a sure sign of the Labour Government's failure to keep our communities safe from violence and crack down on organised crime, ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"The gangs are clearly out of control. The fact that this armed brawl began outside the Wairoa District Court shows that they have absolutely no fear of police, who were present at the time," Dr Newman said.

"But, then, why would they? This soft-on-crime Government has hamstrung police - squeezing police funding, and ignoring their calls for action on methamphetamines and more staff - to the point where criminals no longer fear police presence.

"Crime is now spiralling out of control. Police statistics earlier this year revealed a shocking 65.7 percent increase in gang crime since Labour took office, with drug crime - aside from cannabis - rising 62.7 percent.

"Gang crime and drug crime - especially the methamphetamine epidemic that is sweeping the country - go hand-in-hand, with the gangs controlling this illegal drug industry. By cracking down on gangs, Labour would also make inroads into solving our drug crime problems.

"Yesterday's violence does not point to police failure, it points to Labour's failure. This Government has failed both the police, and the very communities it was elected to protect. Incidents like this will become more and more common unless there is action.

"I am calling on Police Minister George Hawkins and his Labour colleagues to remember the core role of any government - the maintenance of law and order. It is time to give police the mandate, and the resources, to take a hard line approach to gang crime - before all our streets become gang battlegrounds," Dr Newman said.

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