Monday, May 07, 2007

Tragedy in Wanganui

A tragedy occurred on Saturday where an innocent 2 year old girl was shot dead as she was sleeping, late at night, as the result of a drive by shooting between warring factions of a local gang.

This type of violence occurs far too often in NZ, often appearing to be turf related and no doubt will continue to escalate as the financial returns from 'P' rise.

We know the gangs in NZ tightly control the manufacture and distribution of most drugs, with many ending up in the news and ultimately in the courts. Unfortunately, the courts issue soft sentences to the charged individuals, usually abetted by some civil libertarian lawyer, leaving the Police to be the meat in the sandwich, when they next meet them on the street.

I agree with those saying that the offender centred rights currently delivered to prisoners are wrong. Number one premise - A prisoner does not have rights other than food and water. Secondly, a prisoner should not have direct communication rights with the outside world. They made their choices in life, prison is where they go to "repay their debt to society". End of story!

The Police are being shafted from all sides - they do not have the numbers, the public does not think they are doing a good job because these thugs continue to roam the streets, they still cannot get 111 emergency responses correct yet. On the other side, their political boss does not support the working police because every time something like this occurs, she asks for yet another witchhunt / enquiry, rather than addressing the real issues head on. All she is interested in is getting re-elected next year, while quietly keeping the Police awash in the bureaucratic paper war!

The Commissioner of Police was politically appointed, plainly for all to see and he acts like the minister's lap dog, never commenting unless directed from on high. If he had some mongrel in him, he would be leading his troops from the front, not worrying about whether he is currying favour with the ninth floor. I ask the question why does the Police Association rep have to ask all the hard questions and make the statements the Commissioner should be making as part of his job?

I think NZ has had an aboslute gutsful of these so-called inclusive gangs lurking in our neighbourhoods delivering nothing but grief and crime on a daily basis. Sure it will subside with the heavy Police presence, but as soon as they depart it will business as usual. The Police need to given the means from Parliament to go in hard and root out the gang criminal culture - zero tolerance is what is needed. Also the judiciary needs to follow up any convictions with extremely long non-parole sentences to match, noting that any request for leniency in favour of the convicted is declined.

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