From The Hutch
I guess it will all end when they run out of guns or gangsters.
It doesn’t pay to be too flippant about such things.
But when gang wars start in peaceful suburbs and violence erupts in rural idylls, the police start roaming the streets with guns and the air beats with the blades of law enforcement choppers, normally peaceful people start having dark thoughts.
We hope for a Darwinian solution of sorts. Not the survival of the fittest kind, where the most violent and aggressive win but the extinction of the dodo kind.
Gang warfare sounds like a winner-takes-all battle of the brave but it’s more like an unpopularity contest.
First prize is general disdain and a trip to maximum security.
So-called ‘organised’ crime isn’t going to last long when you draw this much attention to yourself and extreme violence is not at all how I would run a start-up gangster business.
To begin with, these kind of tactics are bound to bring the Commerce Commission down on you like a tonne of bricks.
And you really don’t want that.
It’s far better to be positive about your business rather than negative towards your competitor and this really is a basic rule when it comes to being the new guy on the block.
Do users want to buy drugs off the violent criminals or the friendly ones?
It’s a no-brainer really.
And anyway, there are far easier ways to extract money from people than selling drugs.
The Tauranga City Council announced this week it will put $2 million towards a new underpass at Bayfair.
This is not a contribution towards constructing the underpass you understand. It is a contribution towards the cost of looking at the possibility of putting an underpass in. The New Zealand Transport Agency will make up the difference, whatever that may be.
Details are a little sketchy on this and not available to you and me because the meeting was held in private, in December last year. This could be fantastic value for money but who would know? It’s not our money anymore, it would seem. I’m not sure why a central Government department and our local government representatives need to meet in secret to discuss how to spend public funds but that’s the way it goes these days.
Mum and Dad, constantly forking out wads of cash, no questions asked.
However, the point is that you would have to sell a shed-load of drugs to make that sort of money. So the gangs should really be looking to move in on the whole transport consultation racket.
That’s where the serious money is. This is not white collar crime, it’s one of those fancy-two-tone-shirts-that-really-professional-professionals-wear sort of crime.
Imagine how many Harley-Davidsons that consultant has who came up with the new $58 million roundabout where State Highway 29 meets State Highway 1? The cost of public works is a very hard one for the average person to fathom.
It needs a ruthless and evil mind.
Money in the hole
A much better solution to both problems would be to simply pour $2 million cash directly into the existing underpass.
Throwing money down a hole is something we do well.
This will undoubtedly be too tempting for the criminal underbelly and they will pour in faster than Genghis Khan spread the bubonic plague.
With an additional budget of $4.5 million for nine diggers to fill in the hole simultaneously, we could trap them all in there and build an overbridge instead. Pure evil genius.
More police powers
The Police Minister Stuart Nash has rushed to reassure Bay of Plenty residents that they are safe, despite the latest series of violent incidents.
They can take ‘reassurance’ from the presence of armed police in the area over the next few days, while they deal with the issue.
Now, I don’t envy the police in all of this. They’re doing a great job and we would be stuffed without them, but I don’t get any reassurance when I see police armed with big rifles.
I just feel uneasy.
In other countries, this is normal but in New Zealand, we don’t want that kind of normal. When police are carrying guns, it means the unpopular guys are carrying guns too.
There is no point in being naive about the whole thing. The reality is, this is a new type of gang activity and the sooner it is dealt with the better.