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Cosgrove: Gang Crime Continues To Claim Lives Despite National's Rhetoric

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Clayton Cosgrove
Clayton Cosgrove

29 January 2009 - Labour law and order spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says New Zealanders must be wondering when National's rhetoric on getting tough with gangs is actually going to hit the road.

"Week after week last year John Key, Simon Power and Judith Collins tried to outbid each other in terms of how tough they would be on gangs, but so far they are conspicuously silent on a number of violent offences involving gangs.

"They talk about storming gang fortifications, but what they seem to be doing is building a fortification around their own inaction."

Clayton Cosgrove said that in the past few days a man had been killed in Ongaonga and a young boy run over and killed in Murupara in allegedly gang-related incidents. "These are the sorts of crimes against innocent people that National promised to crack down on.

"No one can underestimate how difficult it is to deal to gangs and the vicious and extensive organised crime they are involved in, and National is now facing that harsh reality," Clayton Cosgrove said. "The electioneering slogans were cheap last year, but now Justice Minister Simon Power and Police Minister Judith Collins are probably beginning to understand the extent of the problem.

"Labour introduced legislation last year to make life more uncomfortable for gangs, particularly in relation to organised crime and penalties for belonging to gangs, and it is important this legislation is passed urgently," he said. "Labour took decisive action to support police in the battle against gang violence and P, and now we need to see more of the same from National."

Clayton Cosgrove said that while National Ministers were on holiday, Labour leader Phil Goff and Deputy Leader Annette King met South Australian Premier Mike Rann and police and government officials there to discuss South Australian legislation designed to crack down on gangs, and he had also met Mr Rann last year when he was Associate Justice Minister..

"This legislation is cutting edge stuff. If it works, we should introduce it in New Zealand. National is now into its third month in office, but we are still waiting to see decisive action."

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