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Devastating OECD Figures Need Apology

Devastating OECD Figures Need Apology

Labour politicians who attacked ACT crime concerns during the last election should apologise in the light of the report that says our juvenile offending, youth suicide and cannabis use are the highest in the OECD, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Interestingly New Zealand's own youth justice system report of April 2002 managed to avoid providing any comparative figures with other countries, and said our system was basically good. We just needed to do more of what we had been doing for the last 10 years," Mr Franks said.

"Instead, our youth justice system is a disaster, encouraging entry-level criminals to feel that any excuse will do and the system can be manipulated so that crime does pay.

"Our system is not just disastrous for the victims of youth crime - such as Michael Choy - but also for the young offenders themselves. The suicide and cannabis use figures show a young generation that feels bad about itself and is uninterested in the future, despite the pandering adults who treat young people as if they are not responsible for what they do. Being well meaning is no excuse for those who apologise for our system and its sad results.

"No Government spin can hide the failure of our youth justice system and growing crime risk. The long delays in releasing the results of New Zealand's crime victimisation survey add to suspicion of a cover up. It might have been a reality blast if they had come out when planned - before the last election, Mr Franks said.

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