ZB

Drive-by shootings trigger Nats' gang banning order policy

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 12 Jun 2022, 1:08pm
Mark Mitchell (Photo / NZME)
Mark Mitchell (Photo / NZME)

Drive-by shootings trigger Nats' gang banning order policy

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 12 Jun 2022, 1:08pm

National continues to push for laws that make life tough for gangsters in Western Australia to be applied in New Zealand. 

The party in recent weeks has been promoting its law and order policies, with a focus on gangs and widely reported drive-by shootings. 

National's police spokesman Mark Mitchell told the Q+A show this morning that Western Australia used non-consorting laws and dispersal notices which could be emulated. 

"It's putting enormous pressure on the gangs to the point where gangs now are coming out publicly and saying 'it's just too tough for us' and they're moving across the borders and into other states." 

Mitchell told the TV One programme that police using such laws could disperse gang gatherings, and gangsters who failed to comply could be arrested. 

He said in practice, police could establish checkpoints to break up large gang gatherings. 

National's police spokesman Mark Mitchell says banning orders that made life hell for gangs in Western Australia could work in New Zealand. Photo / NZME 

Mitchell said gang members had recently taken over public spaces and attacked members of the public. 

He said non-consorting orders could stop gangsters gathering and co-ordinating violence. 

"I can promise you ... these drive-by shootings are organised." 

Lawmakers in WA last year passed legislation banning the display in public places of gang insignia. 

If caught showing gang colours in public, members of 46 alleged WA gangs can face up to a year in jail and fines between roughly NZ$13,000 to $67,000. 

Yesterday, National's leader Christopher Luxon said National would ban gang patches in public places and give police new powers to tackle gangs. 

He said Kiwis were waking up daily to news of gang shootings and the only question was not if or when there'll be another shooting, but whose street it will be in next time. 

"It's unsurprising that as gang membership has exploded, there's been an escalation in crime, including public intimidation and shootings." 

Luxon said crime and increasing gang membership had complex causes and in the long run, National would help steer at-risk young people in a prosocial direction. 

But he said before that social investment approach could pay dividends, there was an urgent and immediate need to tackle gangs. 

Luxon said a National-led Government would stop gang offenders associating with each other, and would stop gang members accessing guns. 

National pledged to give police power to issue firearms prohibition orders against any gang member who in the previous 10 years was convicted of a serious offence. 

Police Minister Poto Williams last week said Australia had better gun laws, compared with lax rules in New Zealand. 

On other possible anti-gang measures, Williams said: "Whatever we come up with will be based on evidence." 

She said it was important to get new laws right, rather than rushing and creating laws that would be too broad.