More tools to tackle gangs and keep our communities safer

We’ve announced the next steps in our work to tackle crime and gangs – because all New Zealanders deserve to live in communities that are safe.

These new practical tools build on our strong law and order record, which includes delivering New Zealand’s largest ever Police service, targeting illegal firearms, as well as our work to break the cycles of offending.

More tools for Police to tackle crime and gangs

Recent brazen gang activities are completely unacceptable, and we’ve responded quickly with practical measures that will help Police tackle gangs and keep our communities safe.

To crack down on violent offending and other criminal activity, we’re introducing new targeted Police warrant and search powers during a gang conflict. These changes will help Police to do their job and protect New Zealanders.

Hitting gangs where it hurts

We’re also continuing to hit gangs and other offenders where it hurts – taking their guns, cars and motorbikes and making it harder to launder money.

The changes we’re making will see items such as watches, jewellery and vehicles added to the list of high value goods that can’t be sold for cash over certain amounts. We’re enabling Police to seize cash over $10,000 when found in suspicious circumstances, and we’re also expanding the range of offences that can lead to Police impounding cars, motorbikes and other vehicles.

Ending gun violence and intimidation

There’s no place for gun violence and intimidation on our streets or in our homes, and we’re taking the next step in our plan to put an end to this behaviour – establishing a new offence for firing a gun with the purpose of intimidation, which could see someone in prison for up to five years.

This will help to put an end to unacceptable drive-by shootings and the like, and builds on the work we’ve done since taking office to tackle gun violence, including banning military-style semi-automatic weapons, increasing sentences and penalties for firearms crimes, introducing a firearms registry, and taking more than 60,000 prohibited firearms out of circulation.

Delivered New Zealand’s largest Police service

Since taking office in 2017, we’ve already delivered New Zealand’s largest Police service ever, and we’re on track to achieve our goal of an extra 1800 Police officers this year.

When we reach this target, we will make sure that Police numbers don’t fall away, like they did under the previous National-led Government, by maintaining an ongoing ratio of one Police officer to every 480 Kiwis.

Steering Kiwis away from crime

We’re also working hard to address the drivers of crime, reduce offending and stop young people becoming gang members in the first place. We know people don’t become gang members overnight, and that the causes are complex and often intergenerational.

We’ll continue to do more on intervention and prevention, and we’re undertaking further work focusing on the youth justice system, in particular around improving the lives of at-risk young people and public safety over the long term.

These measures add to the Government’s strong track record in combatting organised crime, gangs and drugs by providing Police and other enforcement agencies with more resources, support and targeted powers. You can learn more about what we’ve done to keep communities safer, here.

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