“New figures reveal that gangs are continuing to grow in New Zealand, recruiting three new members a day over the past two months,” says ACT’s Police spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Written Parliamentary Questions released to ACT show the Gang Intelligence Centre’s National Gang List recorded 8,019 patched and prospect gang members as of 31 August 2022. An increase of 184 gang members on our streets since 31 June.

“Since Labour came into Government around 1000 gang members have been added each year. The number of gang members has increased from 5,343 to 8,019.

“This issue has grown out of control under Labour who has previously tried coddling them, giving them money, and pretending the issues don’t exist.

“So long as joining a gang is profitable, young people will keep doing it. Our vision is a New Zealand where no kid’s best prospect is becoming a mob prospect.

“Gangs are responsible for harm and chaos across the country, they peddle drugs, are violent and intimidating. They cause misery in our communities.

“ACT has been the most proactive party this term on gang policy. We brought a bill to Parliament four months ago that would have made it easier for Police to take gangs’ assets, but Labour voted it down. We’ve also proposed Gang Injunction Orders, turning Inland Revenue on the gangs, and implementing electronically monitored spending for gang members on welfare.

“We need to make sure that gang members aren’t coming out of prison to a fortune created by a life of crime. If we want real change to New Zealand’s gang problem we need to take away their profits.”

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Chris Baillie