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We Better Get Real about Organised Crime - Destiny

We Better Get Real about Organised Crime - Destiny NZ

Destiny New Zealand leader Richard Lewis says the post election Government must get real about organised crime and the drug trade in New Zealand.

"There is no question that organised crime has a foothold in our nation and that unless our Government gives this situation urgent priority, that foothold will become a stronghold and we might never recover from it", Lewis said.

A Herald investigation established that the number of police assigned to gang intelligence has shrunk from 40 in the mid-1990s to just a dozen today while international gangsters develop the $1-billion-a-year illicit drugs trade in New Zealand. Lewis believes that the drug trade is a major contributor to volume crimes such as burglaries and offences of disorder and violence.

"I think like many things, our Government has put this situation in the 'too hard basket' and thinks that if they ignore it, it will go away. As an ex officer I am determined to see our police staffed, resourced and equipped to eradicate organised crime and the drug trade from our communities", Lewis added.

As well as injecting 1300 more frontline officers, Destiny New Zealand's policy on Organised Crime includes (1) the launch of a Commission of Enquiry to examine organised crime with a view to establishing a National Strategy to confront organised crime and the drug trade epidemic head on, (2) Support 'asset seizure' legislation (Proceeds of Crime Bill) to seize assets from people who have benefited directly or indirectly from crime, and (3) Support longer sentences for convictions of trafficking methamphetamines and precursors. Destiny New Zealand would also consider additional powers of search and seizure to target gang activity.


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