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Stun Gun Find Alarming - Mark

3 November 2006

Stun Gun Find Alarming - Mark

New Zealand First Law and Order spokesperson Ron Mark has reiterated his calls for gangs to be outlawed.

Mr Mark's comments follow the discovery that drug dealing gangs in the central North Island now possess stun guns among their arsenal of weapons.

“How many more of these discoveries is it going to take before we see some effective legislative action to stamp out gangs? While we applaud the efforts of police we feel that the passing of legislation to outlaw gangs once and for all is well overdue. Outlawing gangs would eliminate much of the organised crime within New Zealand, including drug manufacturing and distribution," said Mr Mark.

“Section 98A of the Crimes Act makes participation in an organised criminal gang a criminal offence but the Minister has informed us through parliamentary questions that prosecutions were brought under that section on a mere dozen occasions in 2004-05 and 18 times last year.

"Given the police survey of organised crime in 2002 estimated the number of gang affiliates in New Zealand to be in excess of 21,000 the existing legislation is hardly proving an effective tool to counter gangs.

“It is time for the police to be armed with definitive legislation carrying a high maximum sentence to better enable them to charge these thugs as it seems that the longer that gangs are allowed to flourish the more heavily armed they are becoming.

"While New Zealand First's Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Government will bring more front line police to the fore, police will need more than extra numbers to effectively tackle the scourge of gangs," concluded Mr Mark.

ENDS

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