Gangs cost $714m in welfare, report reveals

Stuff 1 March 2016
Family First Comment: Finally! ….. Starting to tackle actual abuse and the real causes!
Nine of every 10 gang members in New Zealand have received a benefit or other welfare, costing the country $525 million between 1993 and 2014, a new report reveals.
Sixty per cent of children born to gang parents were abused or neglected, the report, by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), also found.
In total, cycles of violence within gang families will cost New Zealand’s welfare system $714 million over their lifetimes.
The MSD report found that nearly 4000 adult gang members had come into contact with the ministry’s services, while 3516 children of gang members had been recorded by Child, Youth and Family as victims of abuse of neglect.
Forty-four per cent were emotionally abused, 28 per cent were neglected, 13 per cent were physically abused and 4 per cent were sexually abused in terms of substantiated findings.
Nearly a quarter of the children of gang members aged 10 or older had Youth Justice involvement with Child, Youth and Family, the report said.

Gang members and their children had cost CYF at least $189 million in their lifetimes to date, the report estimated.In addition, MSD had paid gang members about $525 million in benefits and other welfare payments between 1993 and 2014 – an average of about $132,000 per person.
Over half (59 per cent) of all gang members spent time on a benefit with dependent children, with a total of 7075 children spending an average of nearly three years included.
Over 1300 children spent more than five years included in a benefit, with 319 supported by benefits for more than 10 years.
“Nearly 40 per cent of the children of gang members were first included in benefit before their first birthday.”
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