Wanganui District Council (Prohibition of Gang Insignia) Bill - Submission
The Police Association welcomes the Wanganui District Council (Prohibition of Gang Insignia) Bill as a timely attempt to grapple, albeit at a local level, with New Zealand’s worsening gang problem.
The Bill appropriately weighs the law enforcement benefit of being able to easily identify gang members by their insignia, against the intimidating effect of overt displays of power by criminal gangs, and the likelihood of such displays being the catalyst of disorder and conflict. The Bill’s provisions are not a ‘silver bullet’ to Wanganui’s gang problem, but should assist by making gang membership less attractive, giving police a further tool for intervening where gang-related trouble may be brewing, and in restoring public confidence.
In absence of a nationwide legislation, the Police Association believes this Bill should proceed, with minor amendments, and may prove a useful model for subsequent nationwide action.