Gang members fight at Tauranga Hospital - Bridges
Patched gangs members “took over the entrance of the Tauranga Hospital” yesterday, claims Tauranga MP Simon Bridges, but police are dismissing the claim.
Bridges tweeted, “I've been at Tauranga hospital this afternoon visiting my elderly father.
“Patched gang members had taken over the entrance and someone was being badly beaten up in the carpark in a gang fight.
“Just another day in the Bay of Plenty Jacinda Ardern, Poto Williams and Andrew Coster.”
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges. File image/SunLive.
Police are disputing the claims. There is nothing in the information I have to suggest a "gang fight", says a police spokesperson.
They say Police were called to a "report of disorder" at the Tauranga Hospital carpark at 3.15pm.
The spokesperson says, “It followed an incident where a motorist was involved in some sort of altercation with a couple in the car park".
"One police unit attended, spoke to the parties involved and advised there were no issues.
“There is no mention in the job of any injuries to anyone and there do not appear to have been any arrests.”
I've been at Tauranga hospital this afternoon visiting my elderly father. Patched gang members had taken over the entrance and someone was being badly beaten up in the carpark in a gang fight. Just another day in the Bay of Plenty Jacinda Ardern, Poto Williams & Andrew Coster.— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) June 12, 2021
In a later tweet he wrote, “I say this because so many want to downplay this gang thuggery and violence. There have always been gangs but nothing like what we see today. It’s at epidemic proportions.”
Early this year Simon Bridges spoke to SunLive saying it’s time for action to reduce the rise in gang member numbers in the Bay of Plenty.
"The Government needs to acknowledge the gang problem in the Bay of Plenty and get tougher on crime.
"Gangs do nothing but peddle misery, inflicting violence and harm on the good people in our communities.
“It is concerning they are gaining such a foothold in the Bay of Plenty. I worry that good people in our communities are becoming targets of their illegal drug trade and other serious crimes."
According to figures released by National, last year, 798 people joined gangs across New Zealand, with many hundreds more potential members being prospected.