Outlaw gangs, says New Zealand First

Saturday, November 4, 2006

New Zealand First is calling for gangs to "be outlawed" out after the New Zealand police discovered stun guns cash and large quantities of drugs.

The drugs found included Methamphetamine ("P"), Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) and cannabis, which, according to police, is to be worth thousands of dollars altogether.

The seven stun guns, capable of disabling a person, were discovered at houses and in cars in Hamilton and Tauranga on Tuesday.

New Zealand First's law and order spokesman Ron Mark said Parliament should pass legislation to outlaw gangs "once and for all".

"How many more of these discoveries is it going to take before we see some effective legislative action to stamp out gangs? While we applaud the efforts of police we feel that the passing of legislation to outlaw gangs once and for all is well overdue. Outlawing gangs would eliminate much of the organised crime within New Zealand, including drug manufacturing and distribution," Mark said.

"Section 98A of the Crimes Act makes participation in an organised criminal gang a criminal offence but the Minister has informed us through parliamentary questions that prosecutions were brought under that section on a mere dozen occasions in 2004-05 and 18 times last year."

"It is time for the police to be armed with definitive legislation carrying a high maximum sentence to better enable them to charge these thugs as it seems that the longer that gangs are allowed to flourish the more heavily armed they are becoming."

The head of the Waikato police crime control unit, Detective Sergeant Karl Thornton, said the seizure of the stun guns was a major issue that the public should be aware of. It is alarming that drug dealers are equipping themselves with weapons like stun guns."

11 people will appear in Hamilton District Court later this week on drug charges and with possessing restricted weapons.