Ram-raids in Botany
- By Christopher Luxon, Leader of the Opposition and MP for Botany
People stealing cars and driving them into retail premises have been causing thousands of dollars of damage for businesses and communities for months – there has even been a large increase in Botany.
I’ve had locals contact my office to tell me they are concerned for their safety and shop owners are saying that the increased crime is scaring people away from the Botany town centre.
Hearing these stories or reading the headlines is not the New Zealand we know.
Unfortunately, recently-released figures revealed that the number of ram-raids on retailers have soared under Labour.
There has been a more than 500 per cent increase in the number of ram-raids in the first six months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2018.
While communities across New Zealand felt these dangerous acts have been rising, Labour continued to deny the problem was worsening under their watch.
A police report based on a sample of ram-raids show that only 37 per cent of offenders result in enforcement action and that re-offenders are responsible for a quarter of overall ram-raids.
The same report also showed that patched gang members and associates made up almost 10 per cent of ram-raids.
Labour’s soft-on-crime solution to these brazen robberies is to simply subsidise bollards to mitigate damages from cars smashing into retailers. But that is not enough. National knows that offenders must be identified, caught and held accountable for their actions.
Our police are working incredibly hard to keep our communities safe. Unfortunately, they are not supported by this Labour Government which, by the Prime Minister’s own admission, has taken its focus off the police portfolio.
Police response times have blown out, stories of ram-raids are all over the news, gang membership is through the roof and assaults on police went up 29 per cent in four years under Labour’s watch.
Until this Labour Government cracks down on crime, youth offenders, gang members and organised crime groups will continue to behave and act with impunity.
Unlike Labour, National is backing our frontline police officers and would give them four new tools to make their jobs easier. National would:
– Ban gang patches, which have been the recent fuel for the worst gun violence seen in New Zealand.
– Give police non-association powers to prevent gang members communicating and planning criminal activity.
– Allow police to issue dispersal notices where gang members come together in public to intimidate, threaten and sometimes assault members of the public.
– Give police the warrantless search powers they need to take the guns out of the hands of violent armed gang members.