National is proposing banning gang patches and insignia in public so we can take back control from the gangs, National’s Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.
“Gangs are growing at the fastest rate since the 1970s. There have been 1400 new gang members or prospects in the past two years. That’s a 26 per cent increase since this soft on crime Government came into power. Gangs have grown at almost twice the rate of new Police recruits. Since the election gang membership has increased by 1,400. The number of frontline Police officers has increased by around 850.
“Gangs peddle misery in our communities, manufacturing and dealing drugs and carrying out violence. As a former Police officer, I’ve seen first-hand the harm they cause and National won’t stand for it.
“This year alone we’ve seen patched Mongrel Mob members carry out initiation ceremonies on Te Mata Peak – a popular destination for families and tourists. Patched Mongrel Mob members took over the town centre in Opotiki and raised their flag at the war memorial and patched gang members blocked families from leaving the Wellington ferry terminal.
“Gang patches and insignia are intimidating. We believe New Zealanders should be able to go about their lives without fear and intimidation. Gangs have no regard for the rest of society. They thrive on fear and intimidation. It’s time we put a stop to that.
“National is the party of law and order. We will always put the safety of New Zealanders before the rights of dangerous criminals. We’re doing the work in Opposition so we’re ready to hit the ground running in 2020.”