The Government’s soft on crime approach has led to almost 1400 more people joining gangs since it took office and is deeply concerning, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“Since October 2017, the number of patched gang members has increased by 26 per cent. Gang membership in the Bay of Plenty and Eastern districts has increased by more than 200 members and in the Tasman district it has almost doubled.
“The latest female extension of the Mongrel Mob, gang members refusing to hand in illegal firearms and brazen gang meetings happening in public places like Te Mata Peak shows how emboldened the gangs have become.
“The Government’s focus has been on reducing prison numbers at any cost, but it has no plan to reduce crime. An increase in gang membership means an increase in crime in our communities and more victims. It’s as simple as that.
“National tried to introduce Firearms Prohibition Orders which would have meant police had more powers to search gang members for illegal firearms but the Government voted down our Bill.
“Gangs do nothing but peddle misery and create more victims. National is the party of law and order and will ensure that there are fewer victims of crime. We will release a comprehensive Gang Plan in 2020 which will crack down hard on gangs.”