Farrar says, “Dr Gilbert now concedes gangs are responsible for the proportions cited”
I did not. Anybody can read my post for themselves and see that. The only thing I'm conceding is that I shouldn't have called the dishonest Farrar a reasonable bloke - quite clearly he is not. He's ignorant.
Farrar repeats his claim that “The figures seem credible”
Again I say that Colin Craig thinks the idea that we didn’t land on the moon is credible, but that doesn’t mean it's right. What we want is truth.
Farrar says, “Dr Gilbert… is now trying to argue that there is a difference between gang associates and gang members”.
I’m not trying to argue that at all, I am stating it as a fact. Just as every gang researcher in the world does, and just as the New Zealand Police and the Department of Corrections do. Apparently Farrar knows better.
Farrar says, “Is Dr Gilbert saying the Corrections Department is lying when it says 28% of the prison population are gang members?”
No, I’m not saying Corrections are lying. They are not lying. The Minister has just used the Department’s figures incorrectly, and so has Farrar. As I have previously explained: the Corrections figures include gang associates (via affiliations) and that inflates the ‘gang’ figure by many times. You can see for yourself here. This makes sense, of course. You don’t want to put the brother of a Mongrel Mob member in with a group of Black Power. It doesn’t mean that the brother’s offending has anything whatsoever to do with the gang. It’s about prisoner safety. In this way he becomes a 'gang' number but he’s not part of the gang problem.
Farrar says, “They [the police] say there are 4,000 gang members. I don’t know if this includes associates in that. I presume Police and Corrections are using the same definition”.
Wrong plain and simple. The police figure is gang members and the Corrections figure is gang members and everybody who knows one. To complicate it further, though, the police will use ‘gangs and associates’ in some crime data. That’s not ideal, in my view, but so long as it is clear and consistent, then that’s okay.
And this is where the problem is. If you use different definitions you get different results. The problem can either look very big or very small. In other words you can be deceptive, which is exactly what I pointed out. This is not a semantic argument; it fundamentally changes things.
If Farrar doesn’t think this is a problem, then I’m sure we wouldn’t hear a peep out of him if the Green Party said dairy farming was responsible for 33% of waterways pollution, but then used sheep, pig and all agricultural famers in the data to prove it.
Such incorrect data will obviously lead to poor policy because we are not viewing the problem accurately or clearly. New Zealand history is littered with terrible and ineffective gang legislation for this reason.
I don’t have an agenda. It is quite clear that Farrar does and here we see clearly the problem of politics. Both sides won’t concede that they just desperately want to win, and the victim in all of this is the truth.
In coming days I will publish an extract from PATCHED that discusses this in detail. Farrar won’t read it of course, but I hope anybody curious about understanding things a little more might.