Monday, April 22, 2024

Government to ban gang patches in public

The Government has announced it will introduce legislation to ban all gang insignia in public places, and create greater powers to stop criminal gangs from gathering in groups.

Justice Minister, Paul Goldsmith said the Government was working to restore law and order by providing police with new tools to crack down on criminal gangs.

“Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51% increase. At the same time, we’ve seen a significant escalation in gang-related violence, public intimidation and shootings, with violent crime up 33%,” says Mr Goldsmith. 

“We need to take action and reduce gangs’ ability to engage in criminal behaviour and prevent them from further endangering and intimidating Kiwis. 

“That is why, as part of National and ACT’s coalition agreement, the Government will introduce legislation to ban all gang insignia in public places, and create greater powers to stop criminal gangs from gathering in groups and communicating.”

Under the new legislation, officers will be able to issue dispersal notices, which will require gang members to immediately leave the area and not associate with one another for seven days. 

“Courts will be able to issue non-consorting orders, which will stop specified gang offenders from associating or communicating with one another for up to three years.” 

“The law will also be changed to give greater weight to gang membership as an aggravating factor at sentencing, enabling courts to impose more severe punishments,” the Minister said.

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