Gang members have used footage submitted to court as evidence against them in an online video to promote themselves.
The video uses CCTV footage from the BP petrol station on Taranaki St, where a brawl broke out late last month, leaving one person with stab wounds.
The Nomads Bad Company Facebook page shared the footage on Wednesday night, as part of a promotional video showcasing the gang.
It begins by showing police and news coverage of the incident, then cuts to CCTV footage of a group of people attacking two others in the forecourt, before then attacking a car with weapons.
It then shows police attempting to break up the brawl, making arrests and using pepper spray on those fighting.
In total eight people have been arrested and charged in relation to the assault, which left one person with a non-life threatening stab wound, while several others were attacked with weapons.
The rest of the video predominately shows patched gang members walking around streets in Wellington’s CBD, clips of them being arrested by police and three separate street fights.
The video also contains images of guns and cash, footage of an altercation with a rival gang member in a Unichem pharmacy, two photos of gang boss Paul Peter Mawana Rodgers, also known as Porky Rimene, and a photo of three males who were charged with the stabbing, standing in the dock at court – where photography is prohibited.
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Massey University PHD student and former media law lecturer Fran Tyler said publicly posting the footage means the video, which could be used as evidence, can now be thrown into question.
“It’s a really tricky area, but by posting this online, witnesses may see this and it may serve to prompt their memories or show them things that they didn’t see and that could have the result of prejudice in their cases.”
“Jurors are supposed to make their decisions based only on the evidence they are presented in court, and if they see this video and it’s not shown in court, they form an opinion over guilt or innocence based on that.”
Rimene, was Wellington Nomads chapter captain prior to being jailed for 15 years in September 2012, after being found guilty of distributing more than three kilograms of meth in the region between mid-2009 and early 2011.
A parole board spokeswoman confirmed Rodgers’ hearing will take place in the first week of September.
Police were not willing to comment on the online video, given the case is before the courts.
However, a spokesman did say, “police will not tolerate gang violence or threatening behaviour in our communities. Police take incidents like this extremely seriously and the safety and wellbeing of the community is our priority.”
Dr Jarrod Gilbert, who has researched New Zealand gangs for more than a decade, said gangs up and down the country have been recruiting heavily in recent years.
“The Nomads are certainly no different.”
Gilbert said prospecting new members, which involves a process requiring someone to do ‘missions’ or ‘errands’ to show their loyalty, in order to become a patched member, is slowly becoming a thing of the past.
“The prospecting periods have all but vanished in a bid for numbers … A lot of groups are prospecting, but not all. Groups have reduced prospecting often down to nothing which is a departure from the norm – so it means you increase numbers and do so quickly.”
Gilbert said when one group starts to increase, the other sides fear they are losing out and start to increase also.
“It creates an arms race, for want of a better term.”
However, the quicker people get into gangs, the quicker they leave, Gilbert said, creating a high turnover.
“As soon as things get tough, such as inter-gang violence or heavy police activity, those that have to work and prove they want it tend to part.”
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Social Development confirmed it is housing tenants at Laneway Backpackers, Aura Hotel and The Setup on Manners St.
Stuff understands there are patched Nomads gang members living at Laneway.
It comes as a 30-page police report titled ‘’Te Aro Park Project Report’’ was submitted to Wellington City Council for review, following increasing issues with drug and alcohol abuse, violence, intimidation and harassment at the park, at the intersection of Dixon and Manners streets.