These seems a tad rushed doesn’t it?
More than $550 million in funding for more frontline police, a new firearms unit and a package to help businesses protect themselves from ram raids has been promised today in a Government Budget pre-announcement.
Police Minister Poto Williams made the announcements in Auckland alongside Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Justice Minister Kris Faafoi.
Police and Corrections will get $562 million over four years.
Williams said there would be help to support businesses to protect themselves from ram raiders – something that has become an increasing problem in recent months. However, there were no specific details.
Last month the Minister was denying the premise of the question that there was an increase in gang activity, this month she’s scrambling to shut down ram raids and gang violence.
The political problem for Labour is that they are seen as soft on crime (despite bashing the Parliament protestors) and this is problematic because there is about to be an explosion and spike in violence.
I think the adults need to take over the ram raid debate and seek means to de-escalate this rather than add fuel to the fire.
I appreciate and fully acknowledge seeing children commit organised crime like this is genuinely concerning to the wider community.
But I beg us all to take a deep breath, appreciate the uniqueness of this moment and the extreme pressure on so many people right now.
I’ve said from the beginning that Covid is a triple peaked crisis, the first was the physical impact on physical health, the second was the economic impact and the third was the impact on mental health.
Human Beings are social creatures, the worst punishment is isolation – we’ve all gone through a unique universal experience and it’s damaged many.
We are seeing that mental health pressure exploding everywhere from the Dumb Lives Matter protest on Parliament’s Lawns, to domestic violence, to fights in Supermarkets to a spike in crime, to the increasingly toxic online misogyny, to the Wellington Middle Class Marxists screaming to send in the military to bash protestors they didn’t like.
Everyone has been impacted mentally by these unprecedented times and the true cost is yet to be felt.
Polling for the Mental Health Foundation found 36 per cent of people surveyed were experiencing poor emotional wellbeing, up from 27 per cent a year ago.
Add to all of this stress the enormous jump in rents and cost of living crisis and you have desperation, anxiety, anger and fear all combining into the current maelstrom.
These damaged kids need our help, their criminality is a reflection of a gated neoliberal society who enrich the wealthy while providing crumbs for the poor.
The economic outlook is far more grim than we are admitting and these pressures are only building.
We need alternatives, not more of the same failed conservative social policy knee jerks.
With the 501s, Labour need a completely different tactic.
The sudden forced importation of huge swathes of hardened Australian crims into the NZ criminal scene is a unique event and they bring with them a level of violence unseen before in the NZ criminal underworld and that isn’t the fault of Labour!
These new Australian connected gangs don’t use Chinese organised crime syndicates for their meth, they have Mexican cartel links who are ultra violent and produce a higher grade meth for a far cheaper price and that the explosion of organised hits and assassinations that have plagued the NZ criminal fraternity for the last 5years is being driven by these new Australian imports.
These new 501 syndicates fly under the radar, unlike the Rebels and Comancheros, they don’t display patches and move with cunning and strategic purpose to strengthen supply chains and market protection.
When alpha gangs like the HeadHunters and Hells Angels are defending their HQs with steal plating after attacks you know shit has gotten real.
Bad news is that this dynamic is about to get far, far, far, far, far worse…
The Australian Senate’s due to vote on controversial new migration laws on Tuesday, that could see more New Zealanders deported under the existing 501 policy.
…that’s right folks, the 501 law that picks people Australia doesn’t like and who have had absolutely no upbringing in NZ and dumps them back here with all the social damage of using a hammer on an infant is about to get far worse!
Most of these guys have no community in NZ and they are threatened with exile on a pacific torture prison if they don’t accept a flight back to NZ.
One could make the argument that seeing as these sons and daughters of NZ were raised by Australia’s society, then their criminality is on Australia NOT NZ!
We also have to appreciate that the last 2 years of covid has created a level of desperation that is fuelling crime…
Aucklanders are calling for more police on their streets, with local officers often tied up on welfare jobs relating to mental health and family harm.
…none of this sudden explosion of crime generated by the 501 syndicates is on Labour, this is a unique event in the criminal underworld but the politics of claiming Labour are ‘soft on crime’ is too easy for National to resist.
Such a juxtaposition brings us to Luxon’s response to the 501s on breakfast last month…
National leader Christopher Luxon wants a “tough on crime” approach to 501 deportees, as Australian lawmakers consider proposals to strengthen its ability to cancel visas which could see a large increase in people with tenuous links deported to New Zealand.
…Matty kept asking the question ‘shouldn’t we have more wrap around services’ to which Christian Lex Luthor thundered ‘No Matty! Tough on crime’ blah blah blah”.
Here’s the problem with Luxon’s position, he clearly doesn’t understand Matty’s point nor does he seem to appreciate the process. These 501s are literally dumped off at the airport, given $300 and told, ‘good luck’.
They haven’t committed crimes in NZ, so we don’t have any real power over them, with zero oversight, bugger all resourced as a welcome and barely any family connections in NZ, our current system almost incentivises these guys to go straight to hardened violent crime.
If there is no off ramp provided for these guys, they walk straight into the criminal world.
I agree that there is going to need to be an organised crime tactical force akin to Simon Bridge’s much mocked Raptor Force simply because the level of professionalism, sophistication and violence from the 501 syndicates demands it, but we can’t go funding a vast militarisation of the Police without an equally vast sum spent on trying to reform and help these 501s when they first re-enter NZ society before we need to use Raptor Force.
Make no mistake, the gang war is coming, the fight over the meth trade will only heat up and the Police Intelligence Unit is going to have to lift its game…
New Zealand’s Gang Intelligence Centre has been blighted by poor leadership and has been struggling to reduce the harm caused by organised crime.
Multiple sources RNZ has talked to said the leadership of the Gang Intelligence Centre was “clueless”, and one person said it was run by a bunch of buffoons.
Leadership were said to have no understanding of the gang environment, which in turn meant the centre was failing to have an impact on the harm being caused by gangs.
…when you have gangs spraying other gang pads with semi-automatics, you have lost control of the situation.
This would not be happening if there was a competent Gang Intelligence Centre. The point is to never let shit get to this level.
This lack of leadership is terrifying on a range of fronts.
The first is of course the eruption of gang violence we are witnessing due to the 501s taking over domestic gangs.
The second is that we have handed Police a bewilderingly huge power in the form of facial recognition software they gained from a corrupt company without any sign off from politicians or the people.
So we have a Gang Intelligence Centre armed with the most powerful mass surveillance system who have no fucking idea how to deal with the looming gang war!
Everyone feeling safe yet?
What isn’t helping any of this is Police Minister Poto Williams…
Police Minister Poto Williams has refused to let National’s police spokesman meet the Commissioner or any district commanders, saying cops are too busy for him.
Mark Mitchell took over the National police portfolio late last year and has cried foul over Williams’ repeated refusals of his requests.
The Opposition MP and Williams also had a feisty exchange in the House today, where the minister accused former cop Mitchell of “disrespecting” police.
…Look, no one likes Mark Mitchell, and nor should they, but he is the Opposition spokesperson on Police, he has to be allowed to meet the top brass and talk to them.
This is basic stuff and yet Poto is refusing to allow him to meet Police and then has the audacity to accuse Mitchell of ‘disrespecting’ police.
Mark Mitchell worships the bloody Police, of all the things to claim he is, ‘disrespecting Police’ ain’t one of them.
This is Poto Williams playing petty games and thinking they are Machiavellian masterstrokes and then when she gets caught out in Parliament doing it, resorts to name calling Mark Mitchell.
It’s petty and it’s beneath the mana of Parliament and the office she holds.
Let Mark Mitchell meet Police and criticise his actual policy suggestions rather than play games and name call!
In light of the petty spite Trevor Mallard showed during the Dumb Lives Matter protest, do we honestly think Labour should be playing this type of politics?
If we are not going to seriously tackle the reason why the gang wars are brewing then we won’t actually stop it from erupting.
The Police have the powers for this, but no fresh thinking.
Here’s my prediction. The Police will keep swinging at every patched member while the unpatched 501s continue to take over the industry with bewildering levels of violence until some white middle class kids get shot in the cross fire and the entire nation goes nuts and National and ACT go to the polls demanding the arming of Police and a vast overreaction of power is given to a newly armed police force that will see a sudden spike of poorly trained cops shooting everything that moves.
Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.
If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media