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Inquiry Sought into Youth Violence

Inquiry Sought into Youth Violence

Tuesday 23rd Jan 2001 Ken Shirley Media Release -- Justice

ACT's Deputy Leader Ken Shirley is calling for Parliament’s Law and Order Select Committee to undertake an inquiry into the adequacy of the law relating to youth offending, with particular reference to civil disorder in resort centres.

“The events that occurred in resort centres such as Mt Maunganui and Nelson on New Year’s Eve have left the community reeling with outrage. It is clear that the offenders were young teenagers who believe they can breach society’s laws with impunity.

“The basic principles of personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions need to be reflected in the way these youngsters are treated by the law.

“I envisage the Select Committee inquiry hearing evidence from the police, judiciary, local government and all interested agencies before recommending any legislative changes to Parliament.

“While local government is calling for more delegated statutory powers to control riots and mayhem in resort centres we must first review existing laws and penalties to see whether or not they are being applied as effectively as they might.

“The responsibility of parents or guardians must also be examined, including their liability for property damage caused by their out-of-control offspring.

“I have written to the Chairperson of the Law and Order Select Committee urging that this inquiry be commenced soon after Parliament reconvenes in February,” Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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