“It’s no wonder organised crime is running amok with new data showing the gangs are recruiting faster than Police”, says ACT Police spokesperson Chris Baillie.
“The number of gang members on the National Gang List has exploded since Labour took office, with 2,663 more people on the list since December 2017.
“The latest figures published by the Police Association, which is tracking progress on the Government’s promise to increase constabulary staff by 1,800, show that it’s added just 1,277 additional police officers. This is the second month in a row of declining police numbers.
“Even worse, just 242 of the 700 police officers dedicated to fighting organised crime promised by the Government have been recruited.
“In January, we learned training had been put on hold leaving hundreds of recruits in limbo. This will mean a six month drought of new cops hitting the streets between March and September.
“Gang numbers have increased by 50 percent since 2017, from 5,343 to 8,006. This Government is going soft on the gangs.
“ACT would hit the gangs where it hurts, in their pockets. Our policy increases the power of police to seize assets connected with gang activity and illegal firearms owned by gang members by introducing a new threshold for Police to seize assets. The threshold to seize assets would now be triggered if a gang member was found with an illegal firearm therefore committing an offence.
“If we don’t stand up to the gangs now, it’s only a matter of time before an innocent member of the public gets caught in the crossfire.”