Auckland gang wars: Criminologist Greg Newbold says shooting up houses 'shortsighted and not very smart'

A criminology expert believes gangs carrying out a spate of shootings in Auckland are "short-sighted and "don't have much intelligence of the bigger picture". 

Police confirmed the Killer Beez and Tribesmen gangs were behind the spate of Auckland shootings on Tuesday night. 

The shootings took place in Ōtara, Papatoetoe, Flat Bush, Papakura, Henderson, Mt Albert, and Te Atatū.

The following night saw two more shootings which are believed to be linked to gang wars, although police have yet to confirm this. 

Former criminology professor at Canterbury University Greg Newbold told Newshub Late on Wednesday he believes the rise in gang violence can partly be blamed on the influx of 501s from Australia. 

"I think it's part of a general trend, partially as a result of the influx of the 501s from Australia and now they seem to be more willing to use firearms as a means of defence," Newbold told Newshub Late host Ingrid Hipkiss. 

"Once one group starts using firearms the other group has to reciprocate, so you get this domino effect of increasing ability and increasing willingness to use firearms in terms of resolving gang disputes."

Newbold believes all these shootings have done is make things worse for all the gangs. 

"These tit-for-tat shootouts are very shortsighted and are generally carried out by people who don't have much intelligence of the bigger picture," he said.

"All these kinds of conflicts do is raise the profile of gangs, which they don't need and interfere with other gang activities such as profit-making. So they bring a lot of heat on the gangs, they're shortsighted and they're not very smart." 

Newbold told Newshub the more sophisticated gangs would not get involved in these shootouts.

"The more organised and the better-established gangs don't get involved in this kind of nonsense because they know it's not good for them in the long run," he said. 

Newbold said "more organised" gangs don't want to make a big public display of conflicts they have with other groups.

He said even though police will be worried about the increased gang violence, they'll also welcome it. 

"Police have been welcoming it because it gives them an excuse to increase their powers and the pressure on gangs, which they enjoy doing," he told Newshub. 

"It also legitimises political calls for harsher measures to be made to repress gangs, the little gangs or the less sophisticated gangs are bringing the heat on everybody." 

Watch the full interview with Greg Newbold above.