Wanganui bans gang patches

Monday Aug 31, 2009

Wanganui District Council banned gang patches from the city at its council meeting today.

The bylaw, which comes into force on tomorrow, will give police powers to fine patchwearers $2000 and to take their gang insignia from them.

"This bylaw is intended to deal with.... gangs, but will not affect clubs and groups who are law-abiding and non-confrontational generally," a report on the gang bylaw submissions hearing, tabled at today's meeting by senior councillor Randhir Dahya, said.

"There are people in Wanganui who will say we don't have a gang problem but the fact is there is a gang problem in Wanganui, just as there is in other towns and cities."

Police "totally supported" the passing of the bylaw, Mr Dahya's report said.

"This bylaw demonstrates this council's commitment to making Wanganui a safe place for all."

The council was required to signpost where the bylaw would be enforced, and could not determine "all public places in the district are public places".