Kate Hawkesby: Government turning a blind eye on gangs

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 3 Dec 2019, 9:28AM
Photo / NZ Herald

Kate Hawkesby: Government turning a blind eye on gangs

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 3 Dec 2019, 9:28AM

In a scene that an anti-gangs Simon Bridges could’ve only dreamt of hot on the heels of his gang crackdown announcement, Black Power were out in public making a nuisance of themselves.

Just in time for all the people who claimed they hadn’t seen a gang member in years, nor were they bothered by them, the gang popped up on a residential street just to remind everyone that they’re alive and well and will still do as they please where they please.

West Auckland residents were unimpressed after gang members blocked a road to do burnouts in front of a funeral home.

They were paying their respects, but that’s by the by. I’m sure many boy racers could argue they were just ‘paying their respects’ when they’re caught burning rubber and I’m not sure that excuse would fly.

However, Police didn’t seem too bothered when contacted about the gangs skids and burnouts.

Apparently the concerned resident who called them was told to ‘call back if there were any further issues’.

Any ‘further’ issues? What were they waiting for? Guns to be presented? An all out brawl?

So what do we read into this?

That the police were not overly phased nor moved to respond to the gangs antics.

So is this indicative of this government’s approach to gangs? Turn a blind eye? Call back if it gets worse? A few burnouts, not interested?

Would a National government have done the same thing? Or would it have unleashed the force of its special strike force raptor squad? And if so, would that have been too extreme for a few burnouts on a blocked road?

Where’s the line?

It feels like one side is too soft and the other too hard, where’s the in-between?

Calling up Police in response to dangerous or intimidating gang activity like cars pulling donuts outside Countdown and doing skids is not all out warfare, but it’s not a peaceful day out in your neighbourhood either is it?

So shouldn’t Police in this circumstance do more than just say, “call us later”?

The West Auckland residents who witnessed it called it annoying ,inconsiderate and a bad look.

One resident was angry that the gang could endanger the lives of asthmatic patients stuck in traffic held up by the gang’s antics.

But others were in favour. Others said it was ‘a cool send off’, some said they “love a good burnout”.

So do we have rules around this sort of behaviour on residential streets or not?

If it was the local boy racers would the response have been the same?

Is it because it was a gang and we have become immune to gangs in this country? Do we follow the government’s cue and turn a blind eye?

I don’t know that strike force raptors are the answer, but I do know that  “call back later,” isn’t a satisfactory Police response either.

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