Police must warn gangs, not the public

What is Minister of Police Poto Williams going to do about the dangerous and anti-social behaviour of gang funeral processions, given this now appears to be a recurring issue? National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown asks.

Police in Auckland have sent out a notification that they are expecting a funeral procession involving a “large presence of patched gang members” tomorrow and have advised that they will be “actively monitoring” it.

“It is clear that there is a recurrent problem here where gangs feel entitled to endanger and inconvenience others. While everyone is entitled to grieve the loss of loved ones, no one has the right to do so in a way that breaks the law and puts public safety at risk’,” Mr Brown says.

Mr Brown isn’t the only one noticing a concerning pattern; in their notification, a Police spokesperson states “we are aware of previous incidents involving gang processions where dangerous driving behaviour has been exhibited by some of the riders, which has at times put those involved and the wider community at risk”.

“The Minister needs to rethink her approach to gangs fast. Perhaps if the Minister had fulfilled her promises of 700 dedicated police focused on organised crime the police force would have the capability to get tough on gangs,” Mr Brown says.

“Police officers want to do their jobs. They don’t want to sit in their cars while laws are broken by patched gang members in front of them. National understands that gangs can smell weakness and we know being tough on gangs is vital. Unfortunately, this Government sees gang members as vulnerable and standing up to them as unkind.”