11 Sep 2009

Serious offences bill passes second reading

5:58 am on 11 September 2009

A bill broadening the range of crimes classified as serious violent offences has passed another hurdle in Parliament.

The Gangs and Organised Crime Bill was debated in Parliament on Thursday and passed its second reading with the support of four political parties - National, ACT, Labour and United Future.

The bill broadens the range of crimes that are classed as serious violent offences and doubles the penalty for participating in an organised criminal group from five to 10 years in prison.

It also gives the police more power to remove gang fortifications.

Minister of Justice Minister Simon Power says the bill is part of the Government's 100-day programme, promised at the election.