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The Government is struggling to control New Zealand’s growing gang problem, as the number of people joining gangs continues to climb rapidly, National’s Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.

“New figures released this morning show the number of patched and prospect gang members has increased by more than 31 per cent since October 2017.

“There are now almost 1700 more gang members spread throughout communities in New Zealand since Stuart Nash became Minister of Police, and their presence is being increasingly felt.

“That is two new gang members a day, and in just one month, between 1 December and 31 December last year, 90 people joined gangs.

“This is incredibly concerning and shows the Government’s soft-on-crime policies are not working. Labour, the Greens and NZ First have no plan to stop the gang-related violence happening in our communities every week.

“In fact, Stuart Nash today denied gang membership was increasing under his watch, despite these figures coming from his office.

“It’s not right that parents are starting to think twice about whether to let their children walk to school, and are becoming increasingly concerned about who their children are hanging out with.

“In contrast, National has a plan. Our tough on crime policies, like banning gang patches in public places and our taskforce modelled on ‘Strike Force Raptor’ that will harass and interrupt gang activity every single day, will crack down on gangs and the violence they peddle.

“New Zealanders deserve safety and security. They’re not getting that under this Government.”

 

A table outlining the total patched and prospect gang members, broken down by police district, can be found here.

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