I know the cops are doing the right thing with the gang funeral procession today by not turning up en masse and giving them a hard time.
I know that doing that would only lead to unnecessary violence between the cops and the gangs.
And I know the best thing to do is exactly what the cops are doing which is to just keep an eye on it but largely let the thing run its course.
But isn’t it frustrating to see hundreds of patched gang members take over the streets like this?
To see them hanging out their side windows, driving down main thoroughfares.
To see videos of them doing burnouts outside people’s houses in a Grey Lynn cul-de-sac after dark last night.
And to see the cops closing off a busy road in Grey Lynn – Great North Road - to give these guys space.
The frustrating thing is that the rest of us wouldn’t get away with this.
If you or I wanted to take over a road we’d be applying to the council in writing for an event permit at least nine weeks in advance.
And we’d probably not be allowed.
And none of us think the cops would simply turn a blind eye if we were cruising through a busy intersection with our passengers hanging half their bodies at the car windows do we?
It’s just so frustrating that gang members get away with bad behaviour simply because of their numbers.
I don’t blame you if you’re sick of this nonsense.
We’ve had stories of a gang taking over a school in the Hawke’s Bay for a tangi, taking over a highway there for a funeral procession last month, doing a motorcycle charity run on Auckland’s North Shore in February, and stories of the Mongrel Mob taking over Te Mata Peak for initiation ceremonies.
There’s a lot of this brazen stuff going on lately.
The cops are probably as frustrated as we are at this.
It’s not a great look for them frankly.
It’s not a great look for the Police Minister.
Largely, because it is confronting to see that many gang members in one place.
It gives you a sense of the numbers out there.
And that doesn’t even touch the sides of what’s really going on.
That crowd was big but it was only around 300… there 27 times that many gang members across the country now.
Our reporter who was there this afternoon said members of the public who couldn’t get down the road were yelling abuse through car windows at the gangs.
While I totally accept that the cops are handling this the right way, I suspect our tolerance for it will only last so long.