Extension of Operation Tauwhiro an admission of growing gang problem

The extension of Operation Tauwhiro today is a clear sign that gang violence and the dangers of firearms violence caused by gangs is a far bigger problem than the Government will admit, says National’s spokesperson for Police Simeon Brown.

“Operation Tauwhiro was initially supposed to by a six-month operation to prevent firearms-related violence.

However, the positive results of the operation so far simply demonstrate how bad gang violence really is in New Zealand, with nearly 1000 guns seized by Police to date.

“The sheer number of firearms seized demonstrates just how important National’s Firearms Prohibition Orders Bill is. Our bill will give greater search powers to Police to ensure firearms don’t end up in the hands of criminals. There is a clear need for this legislation.

“The Government has sat on its hands by refusing to pass legislation on this matter. Meanwhile, today’s firearms seizure statistics confirm just how prolific  firearms are within gang circles.

“The Government cannot delay action any longer.

“Gang violence and the use of firearms by criminals is at the highest levels in a decade, and the results from Operation Tauwhiro are proof the Government’s inaction has enabled gangs to arm themselves to an extraordinary extent.

“National’s much-needed firearms legislation is waiting for the Government to pass it – we cannot wait any longer and ignore the increasing threat that gang violence poses to our communities.”