The Government’s soft on crime approach has led to an increase in gang membership in the Auckland City area which is very concerning, MP for Auckland Central Nikki Kaye says.
“Since October 2017, the number of patched gang members in the Auckland City area has increase by 18 per cent. Across the country, almost 1400 more people have joined gangs.
“Police Minister Stuart Nash has said the Government is ‘winning the war on gangs’, but most people will find that very difficult to believe, especially when the number of gang members has rapidly increased in New Zealand.
“The Minister has also misled New Zealanders by claiming the huge increase is a result of criminals deported from Australia, when his own figures show only 22 people deported are gang members here.
“It’s very simple, an increase in gang membership means an increase in crime in our community and more victims.
“One of the concerning issues involving gangs is their involvement with spreading and profiting from methamphetamine. This drug wrecks lives and the gangs make money out of this and are then able to recruit more people. This drug is hugely harmful to families and communities in Auckland and other parts of New Zealand.
“Last year Police estimate methamphetamine cost the country an estimated $1 billion a year in social harm. With more gangs that means more methamphetamine and more social issues in Auckland.
“Gangs cause misery, are disrespectful and violent, and cause harm to families and communities. The Government doesn’t have a plan to ensure people are safer and to stop the increasing number of gang members. National is the party of law and order and we will release a comprehensive Gang Plan in 2020 that will crack down hard on gangs.”
A table outlining the increase in gang membership broken down by Police district can be found HERE.
A table showing 22 deported criminals are gang members can be found HERE.