Gangs

Outlaw gangs? Not likely says Black Power boss

A FORMER high-ranking member of the Black Power has hit out at calls to abolish gangs, saying it’s a culture that is entrenched in New Zealand society – and nothing, or nobody, will ever change that.

The comments follow calls again this week from Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesperson Scott Guthrie to outlaw abolish gangs, gang regalia and anything associated with gangs.

Guthrie claims gangs are nothing more than “murdering rapists” who indulge in the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs to children and the wider community.

“New Zealand has a huge gang problem which our politicians cannot deny. Our politicians need to start stepping up and telling the public exactly what it is they intend to do to eliminate these murdering clowns from society,” he said.

“Also when are they going to start demanding Judges pass sentences that reflect the abhorrence of these heinous crimes?”

Guthrie made special mention of the 1996 murder of Christopher Crean by Taranaki Black Power member Brownie Mane and three others.

Mane was released from prison in July last year after serving 19 years behind bars.    Read more »

Learning to swim is good, The mumbo jumbo – Not so much

Maori kids, gang kids even, are being taught how to swim.

In Maori culture, water is an energy called Tangaroa. It can be calm and life-giving, or dangerous and life-taking.

A man who lost his son to suicide says connecting with Tangaroa is a good way to teach water safety.

“The aim for this camp is to build resilient young people, connected young people, confident young people, thrown in with a bit of leadership.”

Zack Makoare formed Te Taitimu Trust after in a bid to help young people and boost water safety skills. At this year’s camp they’re rafting down the Mohaka River, inland and north of Napier.

Fifteen-15-year-old Isabella Ngahuia-Love has been with the trust for eight years.

“I think it’s important to learn about water safety because as Maori we’ve got a larger death toll because the water’s a part of our culture, so you have to learn how to be safe in it,” she says.

Royal Timu’s father, Rex Timu, is president of the Hastings Mongrel Mob chapter. He says understanding the water can help in more ways than one. Read more »

More government action needed on outlaw gangs

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THE GOVERNMENT is facing renewed calls to take on outlaw gangs as a first step in making a dent in the burgeoning billion-dollar methamphetamine trade.

National’s multi-agency approach involving intelligence gathering, enhanced law enforcement, prevention and intervention has done little to stem the tide of methamphetamine in New Zealand’s largest city.

According to criminologist Greg Newbold, much of that trade is controlled by the gangs, which have organised networks in place for production and distribution of the drug.

And the Sensible Sentencing Trust says that won’t change until the Government steps in and smashes the gangs.

It is calling for gangs and all gang paraphernalia to be outlawed – a move, it claims, that is long overdue.

Spokesman Scott Guthrie says gang members are nothing more than “murdering rapists” who indulge in the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs to children and the wider community.

They did so using extortion and “everyday run-of-the-mill crime and thuggery”.   Read more »

AFFCO rules union T-Shirts are as bad as gang insignia

I can see AFFCO’s point. Unions act like thugs with bullying tactics.

If I was an employer I wouldn’t want my staff coming to work in union patches.

Workers at AFFCO’s Rangiuru and Horotiu plants have been told they are not allowed to wear union t-shirts to work, the Meat Workers Union says.

Last month, the Employment Court ruled the company had acted in bad faith and undermined the union during contract talks.

The union said, since then, workers on contracts had been bullied by supervisors.

Union organising director Darien Fenton said, in the latest incident, the employer at the Rangiuru plant near Te Puke told workers they were not allowed to wear their t-shirts to work and likened them to gang insignia.    Read more »

He should have a medal not a conviction

Clayton Mitchell looks like a top bloke.

He smacked up a gang member in a past life and for some strange reason ended up with a conviction for his troubles.

An MP received a suspended sentence following a fight with a gang member who attacked him after being refused entry to a bar.

First-term NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell, 43, has reluctantly spoken about the incident, which occurred 18 years ago.

“The reality is, everyone has a past and I have got one, too. I have been involved in hospitality for 25 years and so, because you run bars and you stand on the front door, you do have, and I certainly have had, over the years, a lot of situations where you get put into very perilous situations.”

Mr Mitchell, who was a Tauranga City councillor before entering Parliament after the last election, was in charge of the city’s Straight Shooters Bar in 1997, when a gang member with facial tattoos was refused entry.

“It turned into a confrontation, a physical one, he was a lot bigger than me, he was a very intimidating individual. I got a black eye and swollen face out of it. Read more »

Crusher’s baaaack

Judith Collins has a hard hitting column in the Sunday Star-Times showing her mettle again on law and order.

Who would want to be an undercover police officer? You put your life on the line, you leave your home and family, you assume an identity, you live with people who are violent drug dealers in constant fear for your life, and then they start to suspect you.

Either you get out and the whole costly operation is compromised or you stay put and leave your life in the hands of people who might well kill you.  If they find out who you really are, not only are you at serious risk, but so is your family.

So, you might think the police could set up a fake search warrant, like the fake identity items you already have, to bolster your story and provide you better cover. Well, you’d be wrong.

Nelson police targeted the Red Devils gang in the undercover Operation Explorer, from September 2009 to March 2011.

Explorer resulted in more than 150 charges, including drugs, firearms and conspiracy charges, being laid against 21 members and associates of the gang. That sounds like a great result to me.

But, the Crown recently dropped the case after Justice David Collins stayed a majority of the charges because, he says, evidence for them was ‘improperly’ obtained by police.

Justice Collins ruled police probably broke the law when they forged that search warrant and prosecuted an undercover officer to bolster his credibility with the gang. He said the police’s actions amounted to “significant misconduct” and possible “serious criminal offending”.

Police Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess has said officers involved in the fake warrant and prosecution “were acting in the honest belief that their actions were lawful and necessary to protect the undercover officer”.

Police reviewed the conduct of staff involved with Operation Explorer in 2012 and found no prosecution or disciplinary action were required.

I couldn’t agree more with the police. It is simply outrageous that serious criminal offending by a dangerous gang be allowed to go unanswered. Their illegal firearms continue to be out on the streets, and these dangerous criminals continue to be a risk to families and communities. The gang must be laughing. The message is clear to criminal gangs. Let your new friend know you think they could be police, know that if they are, the operation will be closed down.

Read more »

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So where did the drugs go?

The story of gang drugs going missing from an evidence locket in the Waikato leading to the case against that gang member being dropped just won’t lie down.  The cop under the gun explains why he was so “friendly” with the gang

A former Huntly police officer believed it was his duty to forge relationships with gang leaders and criminals.

Blair Donaldson said it was his job, as a sergeant, to make those ties.

“If I’m on leave and there’s a gang homicide, they’re not going to speak to some stranger.”

Donaldson, 52, believes it was these relationships that meant he came under suspicion when police began a criminal investigation three years ago into the disappearance of methamphetamine from the Huntly police station.

About $5000 worth of the drug, confiscated from a Black Power member was taken from an evidence safe some time between June 2010 and January 2011, when a district-wide audit found the drugs missing.

Police have now admitted “multiple” drugs exhibits went missing from the station, but have refused to give details.

Two weeks after the theft was discovered, the gang member changed his plea from guilty to not guilty, sparking speculation within police circles that a “rat” had tipped off the gang that the drugs were gone.

Donaldson subsequently found himself the subject of a Code of Conduct investigation over an audit he had conducted of the station shortly before the drugs were discovered missing.

He was accused of falsifying the audit and later charged with serious misconduct. His relationships with gang members were brought up during questioning.

He strongly denies any wrongdoing and feels as though he’s been made a scapegoat. His record, including a bravery award for helping defuse a hostage situation, wasn’t taken into consideration, he says.

It isn’t too hard to connect the dots.  But to do so at a standard that can stand up in court appears to be the problem.  Especially when it turns out their “evidence safe” was a joke   Read more »

The Herald and gang porn

The Herald couldn’t be more out of touch with New Zealand if it tried.

Every day this week it has been plastered with pictures of Headhunters, as if they are normal everyday citizens who just happen to wear colourful clothing.

Yes, I get that it has suited the love story theme, but you still can’t get away from the fact that gang members are criminals and create criminal enterprises based on illegal products such as methamphetamine.

What the Herald has been telling us this week is that gangs are basically decent guys who can sometimes be rogues, but who are loyal to their friends. I get the loyalty to friends bit…I do…but.

No mention of their crimes or the absolute misery they cause to law-abiding New Zealanders. No mention of how you actually obtain a patch.

And all this in the week that the Herald dismissed the government’s announcement to deal with gangs.  Read more »

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So-called tough guy wants lighter sentence because he is Maori

Here I was thinking that Mongrel Mob members were supposed to be tough, but this blouse wants a reduced sentence because he is…wait for it…Maori.

He should hand his patch back, what a blouse.

A Mongrel Mob member facing more than six years in jail is appealing his manslaughter sentence on the grounds being Maori puts him at a social disadvantage.

The Court of Appeal reserved its decision, with a judge labelling the request as “radical” during the hearing in Auckland today.

Jessie Mika, who has been involved with a gang since he was 16 and has “Mobsta” tattooed across his face, was sentenced in September to six years and nine months in jail for causing the death of a teenage boy during a car chase in Canterbury.

Christchurch defence lawyer James Rapley said Maori should receive shorter prison sentences because they come from an environment of social deprivation and inequality.

“Fifty-one per cent of the prison population is Maori,” he told the Court of Appeal. “Everyone says everyone should be treated alike and equally, but not everyone is equal.”  Read more »

Top British Cop calls for end to war on drugs

Prohibition on drugs hasn’t worked, nor did it work on booze. It was ridiculous to even suggest it may have worked. Prohibition has never worked anywhere in the world.

Even countries with the death penalty for drug offences have drug problems. The world over people are starting to wake up to the issue.

Class A drugs should be decriminalised and drug addicts “treated and cared for not criminalised”, according to a senior UK police officer.

Writing in the Observer, Chief Constable Mike Barton of Durham Police said prohibition had put billions of pounds into the hands of criminals.

He called for an open debate on the problems caused by drugs.

The Home Office reiterated its stance and said drugs were illegal because they were dangerous.  Read more »

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