Gang numbers surge 53 per cent under Labour

Newly released figures to National show New Zealand’s gang numbers continues to explode under Labour and with no signs of stopping, says National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown.

“There has been a 53 per cent increase in gang membership since Labour first took office, a figure which reflects what New Zealanders are experiencing. I am constantly told by members of the public that they are seeing the impact of this increase in gang numbers and activity in their communities every day.

“It is also becoming clear the Government doesn’t want to release these numbers publicly, with the Police Minister waiting almost six weeks before releasing them to me, and internal documents showing the Government doesn’t want the public to know the true extent of the gang problem which has been allowed to grow under Labour’s four years in Government.

“Any moves by the Government to hide gang numbers from the public is an attempt to duck accountability for its lack of action to address surging gang membership and violence across New Zealand.

“The Government never kicked up a fuss when the number of gang members was released in previous years but, now that the problem is getting out of control, it’s doing its best to keep the latest figures hidden from the public.

“The Government’s lack of investment in the Gang Intelligence Centre also shows it has no desire to deal with increasing gang membership and violence but would rather just let the gang scene explode and undermine New Zealanders’ safety.

“We have seen unprecedented scenes of shootings in public involving gang members this year, including a shootout in broad daylight at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour. New Zealanders are increasingly concerned about the increase in gang membership and violence throughout the country.

“The Government needs to get on with the job and take real action against gang members, they can start by taking their firearms off them – something it has failed to do by not implementing National’s Firearms Prohibition Orders Bill.”

You can find Gang members recorded on the National Gang List broken down by District as at August 2021 here and Gang numbers, October 2017-August 2021 comparison here.