LISTEN: Not every gang member is a criminal, a New Zealand gang expert has told Magic Talk.
Jarrod Gilbert has written a piece about our battle with gang crime in New Zealand and why our current approach might not be working.
Dr Gilbert has done extensive research in the areas of crime and justice and is New Zealand's leading commentator on gangs.
He told Magic Talk's Ryan Bridge that while gangs are highly criminalised groups, we don't often get the full picture.
"We tend to see in the media the gang crimes that are the most sensational ones - horrifying often - and we tend to think every gang member is like that. The reality is very, very different to that."
There is a public perception that most - if not all - gang members are methamphetamine users. Dr Gilbert doesn't believe that's entirely accurate and it depends on which gang chapter you look at.
"Some of the leaders are absolutely anti it and determined to get their members off - right down to urine testing them and making sure they're off. And other leaders are into meth so heavily themselves that they don't care," he told Magic Talk.
Listen to the full interview with Jarrod Gilbert above.