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Parents Must Take Responsibility

Media release
12 February 2004


Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis says it is time parents of teenagers who commit crimes took responsibility for their children's actions - or were forced to take responsibility. "It is not acceptable for young people to be out late at night on the streets unsupervised where they can get up to mischief, and take part in vandalism, crime or illegal street racing.

"The re-emergence of boy racers is of great concern and, while most are over 18 and in fact some are female, large numbers of younger teenagers are cheering from the sidelines of these burnouts and races. As spectators they are encouraging this stupid activity because they provide the drivers with an audience they can show off to.

"These events are dangerous and there's a high risk of spectators being caught up in a crash or run over.

"My question to parents is: do you know where your children are at 4 in the morning? If not, why not?

"Parents should know where their children are at all times and ensure they are properly supervised. It's in the nature of many young people to think they are superman, bullet-proof, and can handle speeding cars. They can't. That's why they have restricted licenses.

"It is parents' responsibility to ensure their children remain under control. But some are abdicating that responsibility and turning a blind eye. This would appear to be the reason why we have large numbers of young people roaming the streets day and night in certain parts of Manukau.

"This issue also costs the city financially. Cleaning up graffiti from public buildings alone is going to cost a million dollars this year and a hard core of just 50 youngsters is responsible for most of it. Much of it is done at night by children who should be at home with their families."


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