bikie gang members could make Taranaki home
Gang members with links to the
Comancheros outlaw Motorcycle Club could be making Taranaki
Outlaw Australian bikie gang members
could be heading for New Zealand and Labour leader Andrew Little says
police are not resourced to deal with them.
Members of the notorious Comanchero Motorcycle
gang are understood to be making their way to the Taranaki region and
could already be here after being recently deported from Australia.
New legislation in Australia has
also seen members of the Rebels, Bandidos, Hells Angels, Finks and Gypsy
Jokers exiled from the country.
Taranaki police area commander
Inspector Keith Borrell says there is no evidence members of the
Comancheros were living in Taranaki.
In May Melbourne's Herald Sun
reported 56 gang members, 25 Rebels, 20 Comancheros and 11 Bandidos had
been booted out of Australia.
While Little said his source, from
within police national Headquarters, confirmed some Comancheros gang
members were likely to be making Taranaki home, area commander Inspector
Keith Borrell said there was no evidence of that.
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
Labour leader Andrew Little says
outlay bikies deported from Australia could be heading for
"New Zealand Police are unaware of any
Comancheros currently being based or residing in the Taranaki Area,"
"We are aware that a number of gang
members have been deported from Australia including members from this
group but have no information to say they have established themselves in
Borrell would not speculate on whether
the gang members would make the region home but said police were always
focused on preventing illegal activity.
"Any criminal group who comes into the
region, we are interested in their activities and we will be monitoring
However Little said he had
specifically asked about Comanchero gang members in Taranaki and he was
confident his source was correct.
"They said yes, Comanchero gang
members, yes it is most likely some will end up in Taranaki," he said.
"The person I spoke to said 'yes', it
will be likely there will be Comanchero members, they are going across
all New Zealand but they will be winding up in Taranaki too."
Little said he had been told the gang
members of most concern heading back across the Tasman were the Bandidos.
While many of the deportations were
as a result of failing a character test by being associated with certain
motorcycle gangs, Little said the members still had their affiliations
and was worried they could set up new chapters in New Zealand.
"Yes, we do need to be concerned about
that, the reality is that gangs of this nature are often involved in
criminal offending and organised crime.
"When you get organised gangs and they
describe themselves as outlaws then there is a high probability that
there's criminal activity and that's only ever going to cause the
community harm and it's going to put huge pressure on the police to keep
abreast of it and try to keep it under control."
The deportees were arriving at a time
when the country's population was growing but police numbers had fallen
and it was going to further stretch resources, Little said.
"What we are facing and at a time of
static police numbers, it's going to create problems for us in the
future there's no doubt about it.
"The police have enough of a handful
at the moment dealing with New Zealand based gangs and their involvement
in organised crime, this is going to add to the problem."
Little, who has promised Labour would
fund an extra 1000 police in its first term, said extra officers were
urgently needed to tackle crimes that have got out of control under
The additional staff would boost
police numbers to 10,000 and bring the police to population ratio back
below one to 500 as it was in 2008, he said.
- The Comanchero Motorcycle
Club formed by William George "Jock" Ross, a Scottish immigrant, in
Sydney in 1968.
- Ross chose the name after seeing the
John Wayne film The Comancheros.
- In 1982 a second chapter was formed
by Anthony Mark "Snoddy" Spencer. When visiting the United States
Spencer met with members of the Texan motorcycle club, the Bandidos and
the two gangs became allies.
- The Bandidos eventually patched-over
the second Comanchero chapter to become the Bandidos' first Australian
- The Comanchero and Bandidos are now
rivals and in 1984, the two clubs were involved in the Milperra
massacre, a shoot-out which left seven people dead, including four
Comancheros, two Bandidos, and a 14-year-old bystander.