November 02, 2023
Gang bans to face evidence test
Gang spokesperson Denis O’Reilly says National’s tough talk on gangs might have to change to fit reality.
Party leader Chris Luxon told Radio Waatea life for gang members is going to get harder under a National-led Government, and the party’s police spokesperson Mark Mitchell is promising even greater search powers, dispersal and non-association laws and bans on social media, gang patches and facial tattoos.
Mr O’Reilly, who’s worked with gangs for more than half a century, says previous National administrations have come in with similar sentiments, but once the new ministers get advice from officials and read the research they change their tune.
“Yes we know the community is anxious, we know there is behaviour that is unacceptable and I am speaking specifically of gun violence here – it can’t go on, we must think our way through this – but when you remove freedoms from one New Zealander you remove them for all New Zealanders and we should be mindful of that,” he says.
Mr O’Reilly says there is plenty of evidence available about what works and doesn’t work.