Mike Moore on Gangs

Ouch. Former Labour Leader Mike Moore is not being subtle writing in the NZ Herald:

You know a government is running out of puff when politicians say, “If a problem was easy, it would have been fixed years ago”.

Who could he be referring to?

For many politicians, a problem only exists if it is on the front page and appears in opinion polls. Take the time spent on the anti-smacking legislation. Action to appease public opinion was cleverly taken when votes were being lost. As though violent parents will check with the law library before they hurt their babies.

Much, maybe most, of drug sales, prostitution, and probably counterfeiting, is done by gangs. Their management pyramid is based on a perverse reversal of normal community standards and sanctions. To get promoted, you must commit offences, rape, beat, steal and sell illegal substances.

We need an anti-gang czar to head the authority that brings together the Police, Customs, Immigration, Corrections, Labour, all welfare agencies, even the Security Intelligence Service, to keep track of these villains.

We need someone who, every morning, thinks, “What are those bastards up to and how do we hammer them?” Every time a gang member travels overseas, starts a business, registers a car, applies for a benefit, we need to know.

This is in fact something I advocated on Saturday. I don’t think you can ban gangs. I am not even sure about the wisdom of banning their patches. But you can use the current laws to put them out of business with a zero tolerance policy. Just as they got Al Capone on his taxes, use every weapon at one’s disposal to break up the gangs. Do random WOF checks of their cars. Check for arms every fortnight. Have the IRD and WINZ scrutinise for tax and benefit fraud. Set up a police station next door to their gang headquarters.

A lot cab be done within the existing laws. It requires the right attitude from the Government, from the Police and from other law enforcement bodies.

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