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Strike Force Raptor for the win

Written By: - Date published: 8:14 am, November 28th, 2019 - 40 comments
Categories: australian politics, crime, law, law and "order", national, same old national, Simon Bridges, uncategorized - Tags:

One of the most talked about matters in National’s Law and Order Discussion Document is the proposal to set up a New Zealand equivalent of Australia’s Strike Force Raptor Police Unit, designed to make life as difficult as possible for gang members.

What was the evidential basis behind this policy proposal?  Bridges was asked and told Radio New Zealand this:

Mr Bridges promised the party would release figures “in the next little while” which would prove the unit’s effectiveness.

“We are at this moment, in fact, talking to the government in New South Wales to compile the data.”

Announcing the proposal and then compiling the data in support.  That is a novel way to develop policy.

And the policy has been panned. And not just by namby pamby soft on crime lefties. Again from Radio New Zealand:

National leader Simon Bridges repeatedly described the unit as “devastatingly effective” and referenced media reports which claimed it was driving outlaw bikies into extinction.

But former NSW detective Mike Kennedy told RNZ that was “nonsense” and Mr Bridges was “living a dream” if he believed that.

“He needs to pull his head out of whatever it’s stuck in because … [gangs] exist. They’re always going to exist. They just go underground.

“I’m not a bleeding heart liberal,” he said. “But [the zero-tolerance strategy has] just been a disaster.”

Dr Kennedy spent much of his time with the police as an undercover officer working in organised crime and is now a senior lecturer at Western Sydney University.

He said there was no evidence to suggest that gang numbers had fallen dramatically since the formation of Strike Force Raptor a decade ago.

“Outlaw motorcycle gangs are unregulated, so how would you know?” he said. “They’re not required to pay a fee … and register with government. So any suggestion that the numbers are down is just nonsense.”

In the paper Bridges floats the idea of removing parole for gang members convicted of gang related offending. I cannot imagine a policy that will make prisons less safe. Once parole is taken away there is no means to ensure good behaviour by inmates because there is no incentive. And we will need lots of new prisons, of the expensive high security sort.

There are two concrete proposals National has in the paper. The first is to create a new aggravating factor in sentencing that captures offending done whilst a member of a gang, or in association with gang members and/or a gang. The second is to change the onus of proof on gang related income so gang members on the National Gang List have to prove their income came from legitimate sources.

The former is bunkum. The Sentencing Act already has as an aggravating factor the nature and extent of any connection between the offending and the offender’s participation in an organised criminal group or involvement in any other form of organised criminal association. And Bridges should know this. It was enacted by National in 2009.

As for the second proposal there is already the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 which appears to work quite well, as this case involving the initial seizure of a number of luxury cars from a gang member shows.

But hey National thinks this tough on gangs rhetoric must work. I guess this is business as usual for them and has been for a long time.

40 comments on “Strike Force Raptor for the win ”

  1. Stuart Munro. 1

    This is Bridge's Faustian pact – he must undertake a mort of counterproductive victim -blaming policies to have an outside chance of being elected. He missed an important opportunity with the Westport rats though – he needs to swallow a truckload of them too.

  2. Nick 2

    The biggest crime is the ineptitude of Bridges. Its actually bewildering. How is he even leading anything?

  3. DirkDirkin 3

    Bridges and Bennett have no policy, so all this law n order mumbo jumbo is just a front. Bridges thinks it will rally the troops and gain NZF voters, but in reality its killing off support for his own party

    Comments by Bridges that the raptor squad will pounce into action over WOF and Regos is beyond crazy

    • Incognito 3.1

      WOFs and Regos is one with thing but I’d be more concerned about smoke alarms in their homes and flossing to prevent periodontitis. They’ll never be hired for a job with bad teeth or halitosis. Simon Bridges has got a long way to go still.

  4. Ad 4

    Jobs and identity groups both need to be more powerful than that provided by gangs for the growth of gangs to stabilise.

    I really dont mind if the Police go Proceeds of Crime on their asses.

    But there's not enough carrot in National's ideas, and not enough smarts.

    • SPC 4.1

      I'd go hard on those with commercial relationships with a known criminal organisation – and designate the Oz founded gangs as such.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Yes but…

        How do we stop gangs – esp meth-dealing gangs – from continuing their growth?

        • SPC 4.1.1.1

          If there is demand for the product, constraint is either taking way their ability to operate their oodles of cash profit – bank, money laundering, buying assets (deny them commercial partners) or incarceration/confiscation of assets.

          That at least diminishes their capacity to use their money to corrupt locals or corrupt locals to profit from any association.

          And a focus on limiting the international aspect, whether Oz and South American criminal organisations, might reduce some of the "takeover" violence.

          PS The only thing that would really work is nationalising supply of meth and putting the profit into drug addiction management.

          Given we are allowing nicotine to be sold in tobacco or vaping form, we do have a precedent with allowing profit from legal supply of addictive substance products.

          • woodart 4.1.1.1.1

            easiest way to launder large amounts of dosh is using the auckland hypodermic ,(a.k.a sky shitty casino). casinos the world over are the biggest money laundering outlets.not only organised crime money, chinese yuan illegally spirited out of china is washed every day at sky city.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1.1.2

          Better opportunities (education, health care, jobs and pay).

          Less Poverty.

          More support.

          Will certainly help reduce susceptibility to becoming meth customers.

        • Stuart Munro. 4.1.1.3

          More attention to where the meth is coming from – it's not homebake anymore. Pass a plea-bargainy law that lets small suppliers trade off a conviction for giving evidence against their supplier until you get the importers and financers.

          • Naki man 4.1.1.3.1

            As much as i would like that to happen, i don't think to many people would be keen on dobbing in a big time drug supplier. As soon as word got out they would be dead.

            • Stuart Munro. 4.1.1.3.1.1

              That might be true were they the major gangs – but the meth importers tend to be Asian migrants of one kind or another. They don't come with henchmen.

        • KJT 4.1.1.4

          The fastest way to reduce gang membership is to increase welfare, education and social support, in New Zealand.

          Gangs, like the other criminals who prey on those without hope and a part in society, religious sexts, drug and alcohol sellers, gambling, pay day lenders and propaganda based political parties, tend to disappear, in a functional society.

          • soddenleaf 4.1.1.4.1

            Unions used to provide a sense of belonging, an avenue for resolving grievances, power, but neolibs grew a prison industry off undermining unionism. Attacking democracy even. Yet when wealthy psuedo unions exempt themselves, like cctv building, and low income workers unionisation is stymied, is it any wonder the fascists see opportunities. Is national a proto fascist organisation? The ground work seems pretty entrenched. I always like the idea of keeping the bastards, i.e in unions or in public structure like engineering guilds wher public ridducuke would keep them regulated, where you can see them, nowadays they all use crptotunels and nobody has a clue what they are up to. Neolibs no govt is now a national security crisis.

      • KJT 4.1.2

        Known criminal organization. Starting with the National Party. The home for white collar crime, tax dodgers, frauds, scams, asset thefts and ripoff merchants.

  5. tc 5

    It's all about sound bites, dog whistling and creating white noise to distract form their lack of substance/logic and the appalling record from 3 terms of hating and wrecking.

    Soimon's holding the fort for JK2.0 so they can re-sanitise just like with JK as someone who wasn't about for their last turn at the wheel.

  6. SPC 6

    It's end of your polls time and so SB is just covering his posterior for the summer break – lest people talk about him while placing the rump streak on the barbie.

  7. mac1 7

    "Houses are unaffordable and there’s a climate crisis and the future of work is deeply uncertain.

    We need to get stuck into gangs," so that we can get back into power.

    Because that's the name of the game. Everything else is subservient.

    • AB 7.1

      Yeah- but it's even worse than that:

      "we need to get stuck into gangs, so that we can get back into power and prevent anything meaningful being done about those unaffordable houses, the climate crisis or the future of work. Because we are currently on the winning side of all those issues"

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    "Announcing the proposal and then compiling the data in support. That is a novel way to develop policy."

    Sounds like the policy development of Kiwibuild and we know where that got to.

    Why are our politicians so stupid – on both sides of the House

  9. Our boy Stuart 'scalpy' Nash is probably real pissed he didn't think of this first..and is now stuck with the anti Raptor Force narrative of Labour..

    https://www.labour.org.nz/time_to_smash_the_gangs ..no quote from this link..he just refers to 'smashing the gangs' 4 times..not the most nuanced of pieces on the Labour site..

    He hasn't ruled out embracing National's plans to authorise warrantless searches on gang pads or restricting access to benefits for gang members. Nor has he put the kybosh on National's campaign policy to direct the nation's 150 most serious young offenders to a junior training academy at Waiouru Military Camp.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/98370129/police-minister-stuart-nash-keen-to-smash-gang-activity

    • tc 9.1

      Nash is a natural fit for national. IMO it's a keep your friends close and enemies closer with him and many of the others JA can't leave idle.

  10. Hooch 10

    Will they drive Ford Ranger Raptors too??

    I guess things must be pretty good in NZ if the only thing the opposition has to worry about is gangs.

  11. Karol121 11

    With every suggestion of a "magic pill cure all" made by politicians (more especially a year or less before another general election) comes the realisation by most reasoned people that such a pill does not exist.

    Some remedy in relation to certain criminality can be achieved, more to address the symptom than to address the cause.

    It usually never solves the problem, but will usually always keep the Serco and Cerco types of this world content.

    Such a medicinal regime requires more than an adversarial affront, which will simply provide more impetus to such medium size organised crime fraternities and further create a mindset of; "them (the system and anybody who supports it) and us", by these factions.

    Hear what is being expressed by those across the ditch associated or formerly associated with Raptor, and in part, heed.

    Prior to grand standing in relation to any (almost) dreamland policy proposal, prove first to a voting public that you have fronted up, paid the right consultants and specialists to analyse and report, and prove that you have politely made the right approaches to all of the Australian agencies associated with Raptor to determine what portion of their strike force policy worked, and might still work given their demographic and resources.

    THEN compare it with your own national position and situation, (New Zealand's that is, just in case Mr Bridges has forgotten).

    THEN and only then, present what you think will WORK to the media and the public that you are trying to woo.

  12. UncookedSelachimorpha 12

    Good article on Grauniad today on this.

    Violent crime involving gang members is dropping. Instead what unites these people is a lack of job opportunities, of educational opportunities.

    If I could say one thing to Simon Bridges that would be it, and I’d gently suggest perhaps the best use for his Raptors is putting them to work as teachers and job creators rather than cops.

    • whetherreport 12.1

      Simon Bridges comes across as more of an idealist than a reasoned problem manager, and I'm not attempting to unfairly single him out as being so.

      Many of the voting public look to words of comfort from those who are in a position of political influence.

      But how many of those comforted by such words actually believe those words to actually contain workable solutions is anybody's guess.

      • Stuart Munro. 12.1.1

        Simon Bridges comes across as more of an idealist

        That's one word for it laugh

        • whetherreport 12.1.1.1

          As it applies to Mr Bridges, of course. It could go something like this:

          (Courtesy of Abba)

          I have a Dream, a song to sing

          With answers to, most everything.

          I believe in dreaming, dreaming will solve every thing they say,

          And I believe, that lathering,

          Folk with ideals, will guide the way.

          I have a dream, a wage and a scheme.

          The Chinese too, sure respect me.

          Because just for me, a large high chair.

          They really know just how to please,

          To honour me, a visionary me.

          Seated on that chair, that Chinese chair,

          They must have thought, me some big bear.

          Etcetera.

          • Stuart Munro. 12.1.1.1.1

            He needs to get back to basics:

            Although its scent still lingers on
            the form of a flower has scattered away
            For whom will the glory
            of this world remain unchanged?
            Arriving today at the yonder side
            of the deep mountains of evanescent existence
            We shall never allow ourselves to drift away
            intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams

            • whetherreport 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I meant to respond to you here, but inadvertently placed it at the bottom of this thread earlier on, (post 17).

              BTW: Very Good piece of poetry, and what is often also alluded to by other commentators when reading that poem is that all acts are impermanent.

              I guess this could also refer to Mr Bridges and his act.

  13. peterlepaysan 13

    I love it! Announce policy first and then scrabble around to find facts to back up "policy".

    Bridges and his party will say and do anything to try and attract attention to themselves.

    The well heeled (thanx to douglas and prebble) business sector will support the natz regardless of policy. "Greed is good" (Gordon gecko).

    The resemblance to Nazi concentration camps is unavoidable. You are OUR prisoners.

    We can do what we like with you, including your right to vote.

    Limiting your freedom is not enough. We can do whatever we like.

    We are the national party.

    Garh Mcvicar fans love us.

  14. Sabine 14

    So he is gonna go after Brian Tamakis God Gang? After all they are patched. As are the tribal nations, or the rider for christ……:) Oh my gosh, no ideas, no mates. Boring.

  15. michelle 15

    soimon is testing the waters seeing what he can and can't get away with but its lazy practise he puts out the ideas warts and all and gauges the public support or condemnation. And also this is a way of keeping his rednecks voters onside. I see the SST have fallen for it. National don't care about victims SST they only care about them fucken selves get that into your heads.

  16. JustMe 16

    I have said this elsewhere but to me what Simon Bridges and National are doing is racist.

    That is Simon Bridges and of course National are focusing upon the Maori and Pacific Island gangs in low income NZ.

    There has not been a peep out of Simon Bridges in regards to the overseas imported gangs like the Triads or the Mafia.

    Is it because alot of those "Instant Kiws" from say China have donated alot of money to the NZ National Party also have strong Triad links and hence Bridges turning a blind eye to their(the Triads and their associates)illegal actions?

    Will Bridges make the feeble excuse that the organised crime gangs from overseas that are now well established here in NZ are "too big" and "too well established" for a National government to deal with?????!!!! Meaning Bridges appreciates the fact the money donated to the NZ National Party through a source linked to the Triads will never make the light of day!!!!

    The other observation is that true to form the NZ National Party just cannot or rather are more likely totally incapable of coming up with original ideas. That is they just have to Copy and Paste from policies etc from say their beloved USA. National just don't have the intelligence it seems to think of anything original let alone anything that is the best interest of low income NZers.

  17. whetherreport 17

    Indeed and agreed.

    Mr Bridges probably still imagines that he is playing (as opposed to being played) some sort of Iroha Karuta card game with the People's Republic of China, who more likely positively identified him as a shorted sighted clown from about day 101.

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