Gang violence will subside, Police Minister assures Aucklanders

Source: 1News

Police Minister Poto Williams has given an "assurance" to Aucklanders that gang activity in the city will subside, but she couldn't speak to claims that the number of gang recruits were outstripping new police officers.

Police Minister Poto Williams spoke from Auckland’s North Shore.

Speaking to the media on Thursday morning, Williams was asked about recent gang shootings in the city after she announced a new $6 million package to support ram-raided businesses.

Tensions between Auckland gangs reached a head on Tuesday night as seven shootings took place across the city. On Wednesday, police said the shootings, which had been directed at houses, had been linked to the Killer Beez and Tribesmen gangs.

Two of the properties had no gang links, while the others were linked previously.

READ MORE: Police respond to 2nd Auckland shooting on Wednesday night

Two shootings were reported overnight on Wednesday, though it hadn't been confirmed whether the incidents were related to gang tensions.

The Police Minister said she knew gang tensions had been "simmering for years".

"It's really unfortunate that it is playing out now across our city and in Northland this way," she said.

"I have expectations that the police will do their job to not only bring this to a conclusion, but that they will be successful in the prosecutions that they take."

READ MORE: Gang war: Auckland councillor calls on community to step up

Williams said the police would need to work at "some pace" to make sure nobody is injured or killed amid gang violence.

"I'm really hopeful that the police will work hard to restore calm to our communities."

The Police Minister said she wanted to give an "assurance to" Aucklanders that escalations in gang activity would subside after being asked if the public should expect gang activity to decrease.

"Absolutely, they should," Williams said.

"They should expect a decrease in this escalation and that's what police are working towards. That is my assurance to the people of Auckland."

READ MORE: Killer Beez and Tribesmen gangs involved in Auckland shootings

Earlier, the Police Minister fielded questions about whether claims that gang recruitment was growing faster than police recruitment efforts were accurate.

"I don't know… I would say the police have got a sense of what's happening, and they've asked for the resource, and we've been able to provide it to them."

She said the National Gangs List, commonly referred to in debate over gang figures, was being used as an intel list. Williams said the Government had a "strong" response on crime, including setting a goal of recruiting 1800 new frontline officers, alongside providing more training and resources.

They were aiming to have one officer for every 480 people.

In April, data obtained by the National Party suggested that gang recruitment was growing faster than police recruitment efforts were accurate.