Banning gangs - what a noble idea.

Having no connection with gangs, what I see as their prevailing contribution to society is crime and violence.

So much so I thought twice about writing this, out of fear they would come find me and hurt me.

Wouldn't society be so much better without that blanket of fear coating us - a fear of being attacked walking to our cars, held hostage in our homes, caught in the crossfire of a turf war.

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The father of murdered man Israel Jack thinks so. He says his son may well be alive today if New Zealand followed Australia's lead, taking a tough stance on gangs.

Queensland's Government is set to outlaw New Zealand-based gang the Mongrel Mob in a bid to strike out organised crime in the state.

The Mongrel Mob, mainly based on the Gold Coast, will become the 28th organisation to be outlawed under the Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Act.

In New Zealand, it is illegal to wear gang patches in certain public places, but it is not against the law to be in a gang.

Maybe it should be.

In the past two weeks, new information has led to gangs being implicated in two Rotorua-based unsolved murders.

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ROTORUA DAILY POST | Opinion
31 Jul, 2018 5:00am
2 minutes to read

Bike gangs or their associates in Auckland or Hamilton are now thought to be behind the mysterious disappearance of hitchhiker Mona Blades in 1975.

In the case of Israel Jack, Rendall Jack revealed just over a week ago he believed a Rotorua gang was behind his son's murder on August 18, 2013. Police also acknowledged for the first time that that was "probably" the case.

I accept the argument that for some, gangs are the family they never had but at what price? What do they have to do before they're welcomed into said "family"?

Rendall Jack is right when he says gangs are the terrorists of New Zealand - intimidating and inciting fear everywhere they go.

But Police Minister Stuart Nash says gang members are "free to live their lives in the community if they obey the law and are not involved in criminal activity and anti-social behaviour".

Perhaps the minister should take a hard look at the damage gangs are doing, rather than toeing the PC line and skirting around the issue.