29 Jul 2018

National MP wants gang patches banned in public

6:04 pm on 29 July 2018

Gangs are becoming more visible in communities and are starting to flex their muscles, National Party justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.

Rodney MP Mark Mitchell makes his announcement that he is running for the role of leader of the National party.

Mark Mitchell says gangs are becoming more visible. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Members of the National Party met at a workshop at the party's annual conference to raise issues with MPs around law and order.

A common concern was the presence of gangs and the intimidation some, particularly women, felt when walking around their local streets.

Mr Mitchell said the Mongrel Mob turned up in his Rodney electorate last year and their presence in places like malls was intimidating.

"It feels to me like they're becoming more visible, they're certainly more sophisticated in the way that they operate and work but they're definitely becoming more visible and it's almost like they're starting to flex their muscles a bit.''

Mr Mitchell said gang patches should be banned in all public places.

National's police spokesperson Chris Bishop would like to see more towns follow in the footsteps of Whanganui and ban gang patches in public places.

Mr Bishop said police need to go after gangs for the crimes they commit and the havoc they wreak on society.

"Whanganui banned walking down the street in a public place being out on the CBD, banning the wearing of a gang patch, so it may be that there's a case for other towns to have that same power.

"Parliament gave Whanganui that power through a local bill, which became a local act.''

Mr Bishop said it was disappointing the government had abolished the plan developed under the National-led government to strengthen powers against gangs.