New report and government initiatives to address gangs
Thu 03 Mar 2016
The Government has published a new report and announced two initiatives addressing gangs. The report, Adult gang members and their children's ...
The Government has published a new report and announced two initiatives addressing gangs.
The report, Adult gang members and their children's contact with Ministry of Social Development service lines, provides information about gang members’ involvement with Work and Income and Child, Youth and Family.
Key findings from the report include:
- Over a quarter of known gang members (3,960), were recorded by Child, Youth and Family as being the alleged perpetrators of abuse or neglect of children.
- 60% of children of gang members known to Child, Youth and Family had been abused or neglected.
- Almost half of the serious offences committed by gang members are family violence-related.
Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley, said “Gang life ruins families, and the social cost through domestic violence and child abuse is unacceptable.”
The GIC will collect data from a number of government agencies. Police Minister Judith Collins said “That information is being used in two ways - to disrupt and dismantle illegal gang activities and to identify and offer support to the members and associates who want out, both for themselves and for their children.”
The GIC will create gang member family trees (see an example from Police) to better understand criminal histories and opportunities to intervene to support family members.
The Start at Home initiative launches two community pilot programmes designed to support partners and children of gang members. Minister Tolley's media release said “The first two pilot programmes, in the Bay of Plenty and on the East Coast, will see MSD partnering with local social service providers to:
- Deliver wrap-around intensive support services
- Increase educational achievement and employment opportunities for gang-connected families, and
- Focus on youth mentoring and positive role modelling
Total funding for the two trials is $1.1 million over two and a half years, with more initiatives in other regions to follow soon.”
A number of agencies, political parties and community members have commented on the announcements - see the media coverage below.
For recent research on gangs, intimate partner violence and sexual violence see:
In 2015, Superu published What works: Improving outcomes for children of gang-involved parents.
Earlier research, including New Zealand research, is available by doing a search on 'gangs' in the Clearinghouse library.
Fighting for a different future, Radio NZ, 31.03.2017
Feature story based on interviews with gang members about their aspirations and struggles, including work done with E Tū Whānau.