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Action - Not Words - Wanted On Youth Crime

25 March 2002

New Zealand can't afford to sit around wasting words on the growing crisis of violent youth crime, says National's Police spokesman, Tony Ryall.

Commenting on calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into serious youth offending, Mr Ryall says the Government's had nearly three years to honour its election promise of a crackdown.

"But all we've seen is the rate of youth offending soar. Action is needed, and it's needed now. We simply can't afford to wait another three years while a Royal Commission of Inquiry is held.

"National has a plan for dealing with violent youth offending. The age of criminal responsibility must be lowered from 14 to 12 and there must be much more parental accountability for young offenders. The Youth Court also needs new powers to deal with young offenders. (See Tony Ryall Press Release 13/03/02)

"There needs to be an urgent review of the Children Young Persons and their Families Act to stop it interfering with the ability of police to deal with young people on the streets.

"This Government needs to act urgently. It's already had a Ministerial Taskforce into youth crime and all it's done is sit on the report. It's plain that the system for dealing with violent young offenders isn't working and we don't need a three-year inquiry to tell us that," says Mr Ryall.

Ends

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