Judith Collins

Judith Collins on gangs and gun control

081111. Photo Maarten Holl/Fairfax Media, The Dominion Post. NEWS. Police College. New firearms, etc, training simulator. minister of Police Judith Collins gets trained by Vince Anthony, Lockheed Martin (US)

Photo Maarten Holl/Fairfax Media, The Dominion Post.

Police Minister Judith Collins is signalling tighter controls on the licensing of firearms to gang members.

“I was really shocked the other day to find that being a gang member doesn’t preclude someone from having a firearms licence, because, apparently, you’re still a fit and proper person,” Ms Collins told Q&A today.

She says “this is the sort of nonsense that we need to change the law on”.

Parliament’s law and order select committee is holding an inquiry into the illegal possession of firearms.

It is looking at how widespread firearm possession is among criminals, including gangs, and how criminals, gangs and those who do not have a licence come into possession of firearms.

The public clearly expect any firearms held by gangs to have been obtained illegally. To discover that some of the gang members have a bona fide firearms licence has been a shock to many.   Read more »

So, how many times has David Seymour visited a prison?

Do you remember David Seymour grandstanding about visiting prisons after Judith Collins put new rules in place regarding MP visits to prisons?

I do.

ACT leader David Seymour has accused Corrections and Police Minister Judith Collins of trying to break the law.

Collins sent an email to other MPs, saying if they wanted to visit a prison they should organise it through a Private Secretary in her office.

Members of Parliament have a legal right to visit prisons, and notifying the Minister is considered a courtesy.

Collins denied yesterday that she was trying to keep tabs on opposition MPs.

However David Seymour claimed that Collins was breaking a law intended to provide oversight.    Read more »

Will Jarrod Gilbert resign if he is wrong?

Jarrod Gilbert has written a sanctimonious piece in the NZ Herald claiming that Judith Collins is wrong about gangs and that he and only he has the answers.

In an opinion piece in the Herald, Collins stated that one third of our prison population are “active gang members”. Given her own data say there are 4000 gang members in New Zealand and the country’s prison muster is over 9000 that would mean there are just 1000 gang members out of jail. Utter nonsense. It’s not even remotely close to being true. In fact, I will resign from the University of Canterbury if she is correct.

And let’s not get started on her claim that the gangs are grouping together in a strategy to sell methamphetamine to rich school kids; a better example of dog whistle politics you’d be hard pressed to find. As such, Collins joins the long cast of politicians who use the gangs for political advantage. The gangs exist in marginalised communities and the vast majority of New Zealanders reading this will have absolutely nothing to do with them – probably not even see them – and because of this they are perfect folk devils. It’s baffling really, given there are enough very real problems and concerns surrounding the gangs, ramping up the issue is unnecessary.   Read more »

Why privatisation is a good idea

It is a good idea for a private prison regime with robust contracts.

Judith Collins explains to Richard Harman at Politik:

She’s been back four months and yesterday came one of her first “wins” with the news that the private prisoner operator Serco was to pay the Government $8 million in compensation over it’s after the Department of Corrections had to take over the management of Mt Eden Corrections Facility.

Corrections will continue to manage Mt Eden Corrections Facility with Serco providing personnel at cost until the end of the contract. Serco will make no profit from the arrangement.

She sees this as a vindication of the private public partnership model she so vigorously backed in her first incarnation as Corrections Minister.   Read more »

Prison population is at a record high, Judith Collins explains why

We don’t send people to prison lightly in New Zealand. The vast majority of offenders who come before the courts receive sentences in the community (such as community work, supervision or home detention). Also, people tend to be sentenced to prison only once all alternative sentence options have been tried and have failed.

Violent offending is the most common offence that results in a prison sentence. These offenders are sent to prison to keep our communities safe.

The prison population has increased steadily since the early 1980s. There was a 70 per cent increase between 1995 and 2007 with periods of slight decreases or stabilisation since then.

However since 2014, the prison population has increased again, leading to record highs throughout 2015 and early 2016. In August last year, the prison population hit 9,000 for the first time. Since then it has continued to rise, peaking at 9,360 in February this year.

The increase since 2014 has mostly been driven by the increase in the remand population.

Between February 2014 and 2016, the remand population increased by approximately 40% and remand prisoners accounted for around 90 per cent of the population increase in the last year.

People on remand are the really bad buggers: those who are a flight risk or are deemed to present continued danger to the public.  Read more »

Nash gets schooled by Collins

Stuart Nash thought he could do the proverbial shooting of fish in a barrel with the Papakura Dairy Caper.  Not only did the dairy owner have to lie to the police to get them to turn up, it’s smack bang in the Police Minister’s electorate.

A gift from above, surely?

Police Minister Judith Collins denies that police only responded to a south Auckland robbery after a frustrated dairy owner called them and said he had a gun.

The incident made headlines earlier this week when Redhill Superette owner Indy Purewai posted a video on Facebook showing a group of about 10 teenagers looting his shop as staff defended themselves with hockey sticks.

Mr Purewai claimed police didn’t respond until he called and told them he had a gun.

Labour’s Stuart Nash questioned Ms Collins in parliament on Thursday about the incident.

“The police were already on their way to the incident before there was any mention of a gun,” Ms Collins said.

“The police have advised that the people in the shop waited five minutes before calling 111 – that is, five minutes after the youths had left the scene.
“The call came in at 5.52pm. Police were despatched at 5.57pm. They arrived at 6.02pm – 10 minutes.

“I think that is an outstanding response.” Read more »

Face of the day

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PHOTO -Judith Collins facebook page

I do like a politician with a sense of humour. Personally, I prefer the Oxford dictionary.

Today, I’ve been at Hawkes Bay Prison specifically to celebrate prisoners learning to read and write through the partnership between Corrections and the Howard League for Prison Reform. Here’s some of the pics. Tony Gibbs (President Howard League), Kevin and me, and me speaking at the graduation.

Read more »

Bi-partisan approach to illegal firearms needed

I’m pleased to see that Judith Collins and Stuart Nash have appeared to look at a bi-partisan approach to dealing with the issue of illegal firearms.

They should make sure that they are actually addressing the issue and not disarming all the hundreds of thousands of responsible firearms owners out there just because there are a very small minority of scumbags .

High-level moves to figure out how powerful firearms are making their way into the hands of dangerous criminals are set to get underway within days.

Police Minister Judith Collins told Newshub today she expects the Law and Order Select Committee to begin investigating this week, and if they don’t, she’s got her own plans to get the ball rolling.  

Read more »

Judith Collins wants to know how illegal weapons are getting into New Zealand

Judith Collins is setting the correct narrative on firearms.

Instead of listening to carping wombles who seek to ban guns, she is directing inquiry instead at the criminals and trying to work out how they obtain their firearms.

The Minister of Police wants to see a focused approach on any inquiry into the availability of firearms.

Judith Collins made the comments after a cache of guns was found yesterday stashed in the ceiling of a South Auckland home, including 14 military-style guns, among them AK47s and M16s.

She said she would support a Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry into the issue of how illegal firearms entered the country and indicated police also want the issue looked at.

Ms Collins said New Zealanders would like to know how gangs and violent offenders are getting hold of firearms. She said if there are any loopholes in the law, if there are any people involved in this area, then that’s what we want to find out.

Read more »

Usual suspects pushing for gun control after Kawerau

The usual suspects are calling for tighter gun control law after the Kawerau shooting.

Between the Media party and politicians pushing agendas it is hard to get to the salient facts.

While the Kawerau siege ended peacefully, the alleged shooting of four police officers has raised the issue of whether cops need better access to firearms, as well as questions about New Zealand’s gun culture. Can anything be done to stop similar situations?

Who raised the issue? The Media party? Police? What gun culture?

This is just sensationalism by the Media party.

As alleged Kawerau gunman Rhys Warren was taken into policy custody, after an armed siege following the shooting of four police officers, it didn’t take long for relief over the lack of fatalities to develop into scrutiny of how the incident occurred. The Kawerau siege is the fifth police shooting in the last decade, and has raised some familiar questions without straightforward answers.

Do our police need guns on them at all times? Why are more criminals getting access to, and using, firearms? And what can be done to stop a similar shooting occurring?

The last major change to police firearms access came in 2012, when police were given access to a lock-box of firearms in every frontline car.

That decision followed two high-profile cases of police shootings: the Napier siege in 2009, when Jan Molenaar killed one police officer and seriously injured two others, and a 2010 Christchurch shooting where two police officers were injured and police dog Gage killed.

The Kawerau siege is not an ideal example for those pushing for easier police access to guns: the police shot were not unwitting constables taken by surprise, but members of the elite Armed Offenders Squad, sporting extensive training and body armour which saved their lives.

Read more »