Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Coster's new plan for gangs sounds very familiar

Well, you can’t keep a good idea down, can you?

Strike Force Raptor is back! Do you remember that? That was Simon Bridges' big crime plan when he was the National Party leader in opposition.

He announced a dedicated anti-gang police squad called Strike Force Raptor which would go around "harassing and disrupting gangs every single day”. He was mocked for it and the idea was put to bed.

And guess what Police Commissioner Andrew Coster just announced today - it's basically the same thing. He's not calling it Strike Force Raptor, but that’s basically what it is, it's a specialised National Gang Unit across the country.

We're still a little bit light on detail today, Coster couldn't say how many officers there would be or what the targets would be and I'm guessing some of these questions may be answered in the Budget in a couple of weeks.

But the the bones of the idea are there, and it's a pretty good idea.

Because it's worked in Australia. Strike Force Raptor wasn't our idea, it was set up in New South Wales in 2009. Its numbers got boosted last year, it's won international crime fighting awards.

And it was so successful, it had reportedly broken the back of the bikie gangs in Sydney so badly that many of the bikie bosses moved overseas to continue their drug operations - because it had just gotten too hard.  

Here, we’ve just seen the value of hassling the gangs. That gang funeral for the Ponsonby shooter yesterday seemed to be a non-event, because the cops were there en masse to give the gang members a hard time.

Compare that to the infamous gang tangi in Optoiki last year, which shut down a main road to citizens, had schools shut and basically just seemed to get out of hand - because the cops were watching from the side of the road and being impotent.

It seems like it's a good idea to hassle gangs - who would have thought?

Coster can call this whatever he likes, if it keeps the gangs in check, it’s a good idea.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show HERE - where this article was sourced.


John Mayes said...

It seems a great idea to try, considering that the new approach worked in Australia and many of the gang members were exported from Australia.

Also, I would love to hear from some senior gang members involved in the gang funeral for the Ponsonby shooter why they didn't stay away or weren't just standing around hanging their heads in shame.

Anonymous said...

Heather, thanks. I'm unsure why, but I don't rate coster.......crime ballooned under his watch and the police seem more interested in harassing me than the gangs. I'm unsure if it's due to posters incompetence or if he was purely following labour instruction, either way it doesn't matter, the damage is done.

This police team sounds like an excellent idea to me but I'm unsure if cuddles is the right man for the job.