Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Heather du Plessis-Allan: What will happen with the new gang patch ban?

I'm finding it quite amusing listening to the critics line up to tell us all the reasons why the Government's ban on gang patches won’t work.

Clearly, they don't remember what happened in Whanganui.

Ultimately, the Whanganui gang patch ban hit the same trouble that this Government's gang patch ban might also hit, which is the Bill of Rights Act.

But before it hit that trouble, it actually worked. There was a 15 percent drop in the number of serious patched gang members living in Whanganui in the first 9 months of the bylaw

The reason for that is because they were either locked up, or they left town to get away from it. And that’s exactly what's happened in Australia as well.

Queensland was the first to ban the gang patches in around 2016. As a result, a bunch of gang members left the state. The number of patched gang members ended up, at one stage, as low as 139.

After that, a bunch of other states followed.

So in the end, it seems the gangs have ended up in Canberra because they know the bleeding hearts there will never do something as harsh as banning gang patches

And as a result, they have a huge number of shootings in Canberra now.

Now, our trouble is that we can't drive the gang members into another state.  If we have a nationwide gang patch ban, it applies everywhere.

But I reckon what might happen is that gangs will move from areas that are well policed, where they get grief for their patches- to areas that are not well policed where they can march around freely with their patches on.

And that’s not ideal, because actually you want to get rid of them altogether.

But it’s an improvement on the current situation, where they are everywhere with their patches on.

So I think this is a case of ignoring the critics. If this plan gets across the line, it’ll work. It already has in the past.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


Anonymous said...

The biggest stumbling block I see with banning gang patches is the rule of law – that everyone in the country is subject to the same law.

For one thing, it’s banning a group of people from doing something (wearing a uniform) that is otherwise entirely legal.

For another thing, if it becomes illegal for ‘gangs’ – and how do you exactly define a ‘gang’ in law? – wouldn’t it equally become illegal for the Salvation Army, the Scouts and sports teams and so on and so forth to wear group insignia? And then there are religious insignia and jewellery to consider, such as a cross or crucifix, a head scarf, a turban – aren’t they likewise a way individuals indicate being a member of a group?

Banning gang patches seems straightforward initially until the unintended and potentially repressive consequences become apparent.


Anonymous said...

They need more police or even sas to get into opotiki and stop the gangs. They only have two police there now, instead of the 12 that they used to have. There was a lovely long-serving police officer from opotoki on the Sunday show who was so dedicated and was basically working by himself. Why aren't courageous people like him ever given knighthoods, instead of narcissist politicians who have done nothing?

Anonymous said...

One critic says the ban will unfairly affect Maori/Pasifika.

Well, that tells us they are the thugs.

Hazel Modisett said...

I despise illegal gangs, but any attack on the Bill of Rights affects us all & makes a mockery of the judicial system.
Who's next & under what pretext ? The BoR protects everybody or it protects nobody...

Eamon Sloan said...

Australia has been deporting NZ 501s for the last couple of years. Some of them for associating with known criminal organisations, and not wearing patches etc. Why can’t NZ do something here about its known home-grown criminal organisations? Governments are elected to govern. I want to see the coalition doing a lot more in the future. The ban on patches as a first step will be difficult to enforce and gang members will be pushing the boundaries from day one.

This is a true story from my local PKS supermarket. Maybe 12 months ago. Two parents with three children. I saw them while on my out to the carpark. The youngest boy (5, 6 or 7) was wearing a dark coloured tee-shirt. On the front was printed the classic Mighty Mongrel Mob logo/insignia. I kid you not! I wonder would Police be prepared to detain kids of that age.