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United Future declares war on gangs

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 30 October, 2003

United Future declares war on gangs

It’s time that gangs that live off crime were classified as criminal organisations, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

“We all know who they are, and it’s time we, as a Parliament and as society, turned the blowtorch on these groups,” Mr Dunne said.

“Collectively and individually, they have great wealth and no visible means of legitimate support.

“United Future is going to promote legislation that will part them from that wealth if they cannot prove that they have acquired it by legitimate means,” he said, saying that the first move would be a member’s bill from law and order spokesman Marc Alexander.

The Proceeds of Crime Act is a toothless tiger, and the promised Government tinkering will not be enough.

“It is time for a new approach and that is what United Future will bring to the table.

“It is time to play hard ball with the gangs – because they play hard ball with us.

“We are in the ridiculous position of wasting huge police resources, time and money chasing after gangs for almost no return. It is flawed legislation with little or no impact on the criminal business that they do.

“The fact is that gangs ARE the drug trade in this country. They are behind a huge amount of the crime, and particularly violent and property crime.

“They are therefore the enemy within, and it is time they felt society’s wrath.

“United Future will be pushing for tough property confiscation law that will see gangs that live off crime defined as criminal organisations. At that point, it will be up to those gangs and their members, collectively and individually, to prove that they legitimately own what they have.

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“They will prove it or they will lose it.

“Gang members who have spent the past 10 years collecting the dole will be explaining how they come to own that Harley-Davidson; they will be explaining how they got that headquarters, how they got that house in the suburbs with the swimming pool when they haven’t done an honest day’s work in their lives.

“They will be held to account.

“It is time that they, and not law-abiding New Zealanders, cowered in fear,” Mr Dunne said.


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