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Police must target drug gangs

18 April 2005

Hon. Tony Ryall MP National Law and Order spokesman

Police must target drug gangs

National’s Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall, says confronting drug-dealing gangs must be one of the top priorities for policing.

“Labour has taken too long to realise synthetic drugs are out of control.

“It is planning to put the Serious Fraud Office in charge of confiscating gang assets, but that will undermine the intelligence and forensic effort needed to make this law work.

“Informants and intelligence information comes from policing contacts. Crushing the gangs is a job for police officers, not accountants.

“The gangs are out of control because police do not have the resources to deal with them.

“In some areas, the outlaw motorcycle gangs are going unpoliced. Their importing, manufacturing and distribution of synthetic drugs is not subject to any targeted police surveillance.

“What is very worrying is that many of these gangs were enemies only a decade ago. Today they are business associates. They are dividing our suburbs into franchise areas for their P methamphetamine trade.

“Labour has promised new Proceeds of Crime legislation every year since they came to office. Every month they delay, more lives are destroyed.

“This is a war New Zealand must win. “You don’t hear much from the gangs these days. They don’t rob banks or hold up supermarkets anymore. Those are high-risk, low-reward crimes. Today they keep their heads down making synthetic drugs. For them, drug dealing is a low-risk, high-return business. National will change that risk-reward trade-off.

“We will overhaul the Proceeds of Crime legislation to confiscate the assets of the drug-dealing kingpins. We will toughen criminal non-association laws. We will enhance intelligence gathering. “We will boost frontline police numbers so they have the resources to deal to this scourge once and for all,” Mr Ryall says.

ENDS

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