“Alarming new figures show that the gangs are recruiting 10 times faster than Police,” says ACT Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“Since October 2017, the number of gang members on the National Gang List has increased by 2,264, but there are just 239 new Police officers investigating organised crime.

“New Zealanders will be alarmed that the gangs are multiplying ten times faster than the Police officers dedicated to tackling them. Even more alarming is that Labour doesn’t seem to have a plan to tackle the problem.

“We’ve seen a clear escalation in behaviour from the gangs, with regular shootings using illegal firearms. New Zealanders deserve to be safe and secure, but gang members are causing significant harm in our communities.

“The current approach to dealing with gangs hasn’t worked.

“The Government should pick up ACT’s proposal to amend the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 so that if Police find illegal firearms at an unlawful, gang-run operation their assets can be seized.

“The bar is too high at present and gangs are thumbing their noses at Police with impunity and putting the public at risk.

“ACT’s proposal would hit gangs where it hurts.

“The Government does not appear to have a serious plan to deal with the growing gang problem and I urge them to take ACT’s plan seriously.”