Gang Control Policy Is Back Big Time

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 pm, June 12th, 2022 - 16 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, Deep stuff, labour, law, law and "order", national, same old national - Tags:

We are about to have a proper gang control  policy contest. It’s about time.

The international press have been tracking our growth in gang crime since at least early 2020.

It seems as if no matter the extra effort this government is putting in, the problem is accelerating faster.

Since 2017, 49 new Police officers have joined up compared to 107 new patched gang members, across Auckland.

In the Waikato, 95 new Police officers are on the beat compared to 259 new gang members.

It’s true in Wellington as well. Nationwide, broadly, the number of new gang members is outpacing new Police two to one.

Nice cute statistic that illustrates both that Labour have done what they said on the tin and recruited a lot more Police.

This government has graduated 3,000 new Police since 2017, and is on track to reach a net gain of 1,800 Police office on the beat by June 2023.

But also that Prime Minister Ardern has been powerless to stop Australia sending several thousands of criminals here under the “501” repatriation policy. They are after all our people, with our citizenship, and as citizens we are duty bound to receive them back into society.

Tough bind.

In other cute statistics, over 100 people have been shot dead by firearms over four years. But 51 of those were in the Christchurch massacre.

It is pretty hard to claim that this Labour government hasn’t done anything to control firearms.

In the first buyback in 2020, more than 60,000 firearms and more than 200,000 firearms parts were surrendered. In the 2021 buyback after the second more narrow firearm focus, a further 1,000 firearms were handed in and 240 pistol carbine conversion kits with 2,400 accessories were given in.

The arms register will be in place from June next year and fully in place by 2028, further choking firearm access on the ordinary market.

So if it ain’t firearms access and law, and it ain’t lack of new Police, why do we still have a rising gang war?

The answer National wants to give was released recently in a hard-hitting speech by National’s leader.

The main policy points from National are:

  • Ban gang patches in public places
  • Stop gang members gathering in public places
  • Stopping known gang offenders communicating with each other for up to three years
  • The use of Firearms Prohibition Notices to ban gang offenders from having a license for a gun for up to 10 years
  • Bring back the “social investment approach to help steer young people in a direction that would give them a chance of a more positive and productive life.”

You can look up Luxon’s regional Party speech if you really want to, but that’s the policy points. His focus is on supporting the Police with powers more than it is addressing how to break up gangs and find their members useful things to do in society.

Everyone knows that removing a gang insignia isn’t going to reverse gang crime in this country. There’s some inconvenient truths since the last time National was going to solve the gang problem with its 2014 gang programme in 2014 under Minister Tolley.

Ardern’s team now get to respond. Politics regrettably is having to deal with one damn thing after another, not in the order of when you wanted to deal with it. It would have been good to just traipse through the remainder of the year completing 3 Waters and the RMA – luck is running out for Ardern.

There’s no doubt it’s going nuts in Auckland, with 23 driveby shootings targeting specific houses and people recently. In the West we’ve had over a dozen shooting deaths in under a year.  Apparently it’s a vortex of revenge between two gangs, according to Auckland Police.

The cops have been on to the issue of gang violence for some time, and successfully jailing many.

Dr Jarrod Gilbert sets out their growth and broad taxonomy here.

But Prime Minister Ardern didn’t get anything specific out of Albanese on the 501 issue this weekend. The reset was enough before they had to get straight into Pacific politics at the Forum coming up.

Ardern and her hapless Minister of Police will need policy responses now, not just operational Police responses.

I suspect just as they did with the vaccination progamme, Ardern will need multiple Ministers and Ministries to engage with gangs face to face with practical stuff, in order to unpack gang related crime. Simply dismissing this scale of crime growth with “well this is just another post-pandemic truth revealed” is hardly going to give confidence for people to move back to their neighbourhoods. Ardern will need to reveal a plan bolder and more encompassing than National’s platitudinous and narrow approach, or else National will continue eating her lunch.

It’s not like Ardern doesn’t have the largest Maori caucus ever assembled to actually engage across the whole of crime, welfare, and social development. It’s going to have to be real, broad, and convincingly more effective than what National has put up.

Ball is in their court now.

16 comments on “ Gang Control Policy Is Back Big Time ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    "Australia sending several thousands of criminals here under the “501” repatriation policy. They are after all our people, with our citizenship, and as citizens we are duty bound to receive them back into society."

    There ya go!

    • Belladonna 1.1

      We did. Just as many rights and responsibilities of citizenship as the rest of us.

      Unfortunately, a very significant number of them were indeed the hard-core criminals that Australia wanted to get rid of (not, all, but a very large number).

      And, their first choice of career is the drug importation trade with which they are so familiar. Literally no job or career could have been offered which has anything like the potential return; and the NZ justice system holds no fears for them, after experiencing the Australian version.

  2. Ross 2

    I support the Government's policy:

    The Australian organised crime group Comanchero Motorcycle Club has been added to the list of gangs whose insignia or patches are prohibited from being worn or displayed in government buildings.

    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the ban on displaying the Comanchero Motorycycle Club (CMC) patches follows Police advice that its members share a common identifying insignia and actively promote, encourage or engage in criminal activity.

    “The CMC is well established in Australia and has recently established a chapter in New Zealand as a result of patched and prospect members of the gang being deported from across the Tasman,” says Mr Nash.

    “Its members are an organised crime group with global reach and networks. They are involved in the manufacture and supply of illicit drugs and use money laundering and commercial businesses to conceal the proceeds of crime.

    “We need to make all efforts to disrupt the activities of this gang and others, and to reduce the harm they cause in our communities. The law allows us to deny gang members or associates the ability to display their insignia in any government premises. This includes court buildings and WINZ offices, libraries, schools, public hospitals and even public swimming pools.

    “Gang insignia is intended to intimidate the public and other gangs. It is designed to claim ownership of a physical space and to encourage the recruitment of gang prospects. We will not allow the CMC to advertise its presence in this way.

    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/prohibition-display-gang-patches

  3. her hapless Minister of Police

    I can't for the life of me see why so many people have piled on to Poto the way they have.

    From what I can see, she has been doing a good job under very difficult circumstances.

    Sure, she doesn't come across as 'mucho' like Mercenary Mitchell, but I doubt he could have done any better,

    Misogyny much?

    • Patricia Bremner 3.1

      yes Agreed, and Mitchell is a smaller Brownlee.imo.

    • pat 3.2

      Obviously she is hapless….she hasnt snapped her fingers and solved a problem a multitude of Ministers before her failed to improve.

    • Alan 3.3

      Pulling out the misogyny card ever time an underperforming minister, who happens to be female, is held to account is wearing thin.

    • Jimmy 3.4

      If Poto is still Police minister after the minor cabinet re-shuffle then I guess Jacinda agrees with you that "she has been doing a good job under very difficult circumstances".

      I guess we will know this afternoon.

    • Jimmy 3.5

      Seems like Jacinda has decided Chris Hipkins will do a better job than Poto Williams!

  4. Chris 4

    "It’s going to have to be real, broad, and convincingly more effective than what National has put up.

    Ball is in their court now."

    There are no progressive policies around gang violence that can be more popular and be more attractive than national's "ban and lock 'em up" dog whistle. It'll win every time because the average NZ voter is pretty basic in what they believe.

  5. Hunter Thompson II 5

    Crystal meth is rotting society from within. Will we see an opiate epidemic too, as in USA?

    All the authorities can do for now is keep on taking convicted gang members' assets, eg their Harleys, flash houses and bags of unexplained cash.

    Sell the assets and use it to pay for hospitals etc as that is where the costs to our society from gangs' drug dealing shows up. Get the gangs for unpaid taxes too (yes, even drug dealers must pay tax on their illegal income).

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