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Ed Sheeran

Police look beyond labels in gang response

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Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha is working with gang and iwi leaders in an attempt to find a new way forward for marginalised groups as the country comes out of the lockdown.

He says the message is to see beyond labels and see people as whānau with whakapapa.

He’s encouraged at what he’s seeing in places like Tauranga Moana and Waikato, where gang members have been helping with community support efforts.

"Maybe this is an opportunity to reset the dial. I've had discussions with (the Ministry for Primary Industries) around long term employment when we come out of this situation and those who have been unemployed a long, long time and of course idle hands, so the more we can get people back into employment, the less work we as police need to do in terms of some of the issues that we have faced in the past," Mr Haumaha says.

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