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Local MP backs police diversion scheme

Local MP backs police diversion scheme

National Party Family spokeswoman and Clevedon MP Judith Collins is lending her support to a police scheme in Auckland, which aims to curb the behaviour of young offenders.

"First and foremost, the youths on this programme wouldn't be there unless their parents had granted consent and that's their right," says Ms Collins.

She's commenting on a police scheme where young lawbreakers are allowed to carry out monitored community work, like picking up rubbish, instead of their crime going to court.

While working the youth offenders are required to wear orange jackets with the words, 'police diversion' on the back.

"Forget the emotional claptrap, they're there because their parents thought the punishment fitted the crime," says Ms Collins.

"We're talking about young offenders who may need a short sharp behavioural correction.

"The police should be congratulated for trying to think outside the square and help those who might otherwise become another statistic in our over burdened youth court system," Ms Collins says.

"The scheme's critics should consider the pain, humiliation and cost suffered by the offenders' victims, they must also accept that early intervention could have made a difference in many of today's murders.

"It's also worth mentioning that under current Health and Safety Laws anyone working in places like the roadside, is required to wear a reflective safety vest," Ms Collins points out.

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