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Alexander challenges Govt partner over gangs

Alexander challenges Govt partner over gangs

United Future's Marc Alexander today challenged Progressive Coalition leader Jim Anderton on why he had not lobbied for stronger legislation on gangs, if he was seriously interested in making a dent the P and methamphetamine trade.

"In light of police estimates that gangs make 95 percent of the profits on the production of P, one has to ask why the leader of a Government coalition partner hasn't lobbied the Minister of Justice for tougher laws on gangs," Mr Alexander, United Future's law and order spokesman, said in Parliament.

United Future late last month launched a comprehensive package of initiatives to at once tackle gangs, confiscate their assets and by so doing, hit the drug scene hard.

Mr Alexander renewed his call for a cross-party approach to the issue of gangs and drugs.

He also took up the inadequate funding and resourcing of the ESR, which means that delays in testing crime scene drug evidence can be as long as two years, "making a complete mockery of the police crackdown on P, because offenders have basically two years to get back into the business while on bail".

"The Government keeps talking about the complete package, but really we're a mile away.

"It's legislation and it's resourcing - but most of all its about top level commitment to getting it done, and United Future is determined to keep pushing that," Mr Alexander said.

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