Police Association supports Wanganui's Gang Insignia Bill - 5/03/2007Mayor Michael Laws said today that the support of the Police Association for the Council's proposed Gang Insignia Bill is the best reflection of what front-line cops think about gangs and gang activity.
In a letter to the Wanganui District Council Greg O'Connor, President of the New Zealand Police Association, said, "The Association applauds the efforts of the Council to assist in your attempt to show the citizens of Wanganui that overt gang behaviour will not be tolerated. We believe a successful law in your city could become the model for the country".
The Council had intended to introduce a local by-law prohibiting the wearing of gang patches and gang regalia in the CBD and public places.
However, it has decided to instead upgrade the by-law to a local parliamentary bill to deal with any Bill of Rights issues.
"This bill is about Wanganui and the rest of the country saying 'Enough!' Criminal gangs can no longer be tolerated – our tolerance has become a weakness."
In Referendum '07 Wanganui citizens have the opportunity to determine their support for the local bill.
"Many other district and city councils have contacted the Wanganui Council expressing their support and intending to follow suit if the local bill is successful."
Police Association letter (PDF format).