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Gangs not just bad boys, bikes and leather anymore

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 30 October, 2003

Alexander: Today’s gangs – organised criminals, not just bad boys, bikes and leather anymore

The “Easy Rider” notion of gangs is a romantic delusion that New Zealanders can no longer afford, United Future’s Marc Alexander said today, in signalling a Member’s Bill to strip gangs and their members of illegally earned wealth.

“The rough diamond with a heart of gold image is just rubbish; the whole rebel thing needs to fly out the window,” United Future’s law and order spokesman Marc Alexander said.

“They can do all the Christmas toy runs they like – Mafia dons have long made a tradition of this sort of PR, bestowing patronage in their neighbourhoods. It’s about as good a cover as you get to set about your real work – crime.

“The gangs are criminals and they run the drug trade that hooks young New Zealanders.

“These gangs are working together now – take a look at the recent Auckland funeral of a Highway 61 gang leader. Damn near every gang in the country had a representative there. They have moved to a new level; they have joined forces.

“They truly are, by every definition, ‘organised crime’ – and New Zealand needs to wake up to that now and do something about it.

“When the police tell us that anything from 90 to 95 percent of the nation’s hard drug trade is run by the gangs, then it’s time for society to take a stand.

“We can’t afford to kid ourselves anymore that these are just boys, bikes and leather. The problem is that serious. We have to save our future by saving our kids,” Mr Alexander said.

Ends.

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