“The Prime Minister says she wants to tackle gang crime by allowing Police to seize their assets when they’re caught with guns, so why didn’t she support my Bill that would have achieved exactly that three weeks ago?” Asks ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.
“Talking on the AM Show this morning, the Prime Minister said that she and the Police Commissioner are open to and actively working on these measures. ACT has already done the legislative work for them, but Labour chose to put petty politics first.
“She said she’s not interested in “tokenistic gestures” and playing politics on crime, but that is actually what she and her party did when they ignored my positive solution to make our communities safer.
“In the weeks since her Government voted this down, there have been countless accounts of gang violence. Our communities aren’t safe anymore and there needs to be real change to how we tackle gangs.
“The Bill increased the power of police to seize assets connected with gang activity and illegally held firearms owned by gang members by introducing a new threshold for Police to seize assets. Under the definitions put in place in this Bill, the threshold to seize assets would now be triggered if a gang member was found with an illegally held firearm therefore committing an offence.
“This is a tool to hit the gangs where it hurts, their wallets. Parliament has a duty and a responsibility to keep New Zealanders safe. My Bill would have done that. We need a fresh approach that will put control back in the hands of Police.
“The Prime Minister is right to say that there’s no time for tokenistic gestures and playing politics on crime. She needs to take her own advice.”