Gangster's paradise: Gang member numbers almost double in five years

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Dec 2021, 9:43AM
Police at Māngere East in late October after a gang member was allegedly run off his motorbike before gunshots were heard. (Photo / Hayden Woodward)
Police at Māngere East in late October after a gang member was allegedly run off his motorbike before gunshots were heard. (Photo / Hayden Woodward)

Gangster's paradise: Gang member numbers almost double in five years

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Dec 2021, 9:43AM

Gang affiliations around the country seem to be growing at a fast rate, with more than 8000 gang members now officially recorded in New Zealand. 

That is almost double the figure recorded by authorities five years ago, when there were 4420 people recorded as gang members on the national gang list. 

A total of 8061 gangsters have been identified in New Zealand as of June, according to data given under the Official Information Act to Stuff. 

Police add to the list using information from search warrants and operations or simply from someone with a gang tattoo or with a gang patch. 

The data also shows a marked increase in the number of people affiliated to gangs in the Auckland region - with the latest numbers now showing 1611 gang members in our largest city. 

Five years ago, there were 863 gang members officially recorded on the list. 

Gang violence in Auckland: Blood-curdling screams and gunshots 

The data comes as rising gang violence and incidents around Auckland and parts of the country have been reported over the last few weeks and months. 

There have been several serious incidents involving gang members around Auckland; with some resulting in serious injuries. 

In some cases, it is understood tensions among various groups have resulted in violent events and police call-outs. 

Last week, police and emergency services rushed to Glen Eden, West Auckland, after reports of a terrifying incident outside a property on Virgo Place. 

Neighbours reported "blood-curdling" screams and seeing a man allegedly being attacked with a machete. 

A man with critical injuries was dropped off at Waitakere Hospital shortly afterwards. He was later transferred to Auckland City Hospital. 

Police confirmed five men aged between 18 and 24 and connected to the Comancheros motorcycle gang had been arrested and charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. 

Yesterday, they all pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury. 

It is understood there are tensions between the Comancheros and rival motorcycle gang the Head Hunters. 

In October, a man was arrested after gunshots were reported in Māngere East. 

A witness told the Herald that a man believed to be a King Cobra gang member was run off his motorcycle before gunshots were heard. 

Police said at the time that no one was injured, but that they had spoken to "a number" of gang members who were seen leaving the scene in a vehicle. 

Authorities are also investigating possible gang links to a number of shooting incidents reported in the Mt Roskill area on Sunday night.