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Greens warn against ban on gangs

15 September 2008

Greens warn against ban on gangs

Green Party MP Keith Locke has warned the Labour Government against any ban on gangs.

Corrections Minister Phil Goff has been reported today as being prepared to support a ban similar to that being applied in South Australia, if it 'proves effective'.

"A ban wouldn't get rid of gangs. It would only drive them further into the criminal underworld," Mr Locke, the Party's Human Rights Spokesperson, says.

"It would also undermine all the good work being done with some gangs to steer them off a criminal path - and in particular to stop them trading in the dangerous drug P.

"Bans don't get to the root of the problem, which is to provide young people with better alternatives. Key to this is ending poverty and making sure every young person has a decent education and good career prospects.

"Filling our jails with more gang members won't solve anything. At present prisons are more schools for crime rather than centres for rehabilitation.

"The Greens hope this is not the beginning of an election contest between Labour and National to see who can come up with the harshest law and order policies. New Zealand deserves better."

ENDS

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