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Wanganui Mayor Backs Goff Over Outlawing Gangs

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

15 September 2008 - Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws is today applauding Corrections Minister Phil Goff investigating the banning and outlawing of gangs and gang members.

The government's move comes after the state of South Australia launched tough new laws outlawing gangs and after similar moves in West Australia.

"Gangs are terrorist and criminal organisations. There is no purpose to them but to commit crime and intimidate law abiding folk. They are a scourge in every provincial city including being the major drug manufacturers and suppliers."

Mayor Laws aid that Wanganui's anti-gang patch bill, currently before Parliament, "is receiving a very sympathetic hearing from MPs on both sides of the House. We are very hopeful of having the bill passed by Christmas, whatever the outcome of the general election".

"It is a fundamental shift in government's thinking that outlawing gangs is on their agenda. I'd like to think Wanganui's bill has pushed them in that direction.

"Government officials are advising Parliament's law and order select committee that if Wanganui gets our gang patch ban, then many other local authorities will follow. It is difficult to ignore that kind of grass roots feeling - especially with a general election imminent."

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