Guns, gangs stretch thin blue line

As the election looms, the Police Association warns politicians of rising gang power, and says the force must never be as stretched as it was in in 2016.

In a report released yesterday, the association called on the future government to tackle the proliferation of illegal firearms, the increase in assaults on frontline officers, and the ever-expanding methamphetamine industry.

It has raised the alarm on the gang meth trade and called on politicians to unclog the court system, while warning the force should never be allowed to reach breaking point again after resources were stretched to the limit last year.

The association called for a raft of new measures and expanded powers, including widening the use of mobile technology to deal with family violence, and a review of anti-corruption measures to thwart organised crime.

The policy document,Towards a safer New Zealand, also urged the government to move quickly to implement the recommendations of the Law and Order Select Committee around illegal firearms. The association said the increasing availability of guns to criminals and gangs was possibly the most grave issue facing police in 2017.

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