Vehicle thefts are on the rise in Northland, figures from the Minister of Police show.
We need to crack down on crime.
New Zealanders have a basic right to feel safe in their homes, their businesses and their communities – but that’s not happening.
Since Labour took office, across the country we have seen retail crime double, gang membership go up by 66 per cent and violent crime increase by 33 per cent.
Just the other week, Ōpōtiki was forced to close down because of a gang funeral.
Northland has not been spared this. A young lady working in a blue-collar industry recently called me aside when I visited her workplace and, in tears, said, “Hey, you are that blue guy, aren’t you?” Followed by, “My car was stolen last night” – and she showed me the pictures. I felt a great sadness for her. She was working long hours, had an average car and now it had been stolen. She is on the minimum wage and is just trying to make her way in the world. This is not fair.
I asked the Minister of Police how many Northland vehicles have been reported stolen every year for the past five years. The answer is an astounding 50 per cent increase in the past year to 1758. That is nearly five per day.
This is not the New Zealand I know and love, and we shouldn’t accept this as the new normal.
National believes gangs are a key factor in crime. Our message is clear – if you choose to align yourself with a gang or engage in criminal activities, you will face more severe consequences.
We will make membership of a gang an aggravating factor when it comes to sentencing, so gang members convicted of an offence face tougher consequences for their crimes.
We have announced that we will ban gang patches in public, stop gangs gathering in public, stop gang members from associating with each other and stop gangs from accessing guns.
This is another initiative that will help restore law and order to New Zealand, along with a range of solutions National has already announced, including banning gang patches in public, stopping gangs gathering in public, and giving police the warrantless search powers they need to take the guns out of the hands of violent gang members.
We will also crack down on serious youth offenders, who are responsible for many of the ram-raids we are seeing and contributing to the number of stolen vehicles, by creating young offender military academies.
Soft on crime is not working. We seek to make New Zealand a safer place to raise your families.