Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Police cells no place for a child, says Bradford

12 May, 2004

Police cells no place for a child, says Bradford

Green MP Sue Bradford today called on the Government to urgently address the needs of young offenders in the upcoming Budget announcements, in light of "shocking" revelations a 16 year-old boy has been locked in police cells for nine days.

Ms Bradford said the Government was failing to address the situation at both ends - not only were not enough beds being provided in secure facilities for young people, but the Government was not doing enough about the causes of youth offending such as poverty and children being lost out of the school system.

"The Government must take responsibility at both ends for the fact that young people from all over New Zealand are being locked up in adult police cells," said Ms Bradford, the Green Party Social Services spokesperson.

"I am shocked at how many young people have been locked up in police cells for many days at a time. A police cell is no place for a young person. That a 16 year-old could spend nine days in a windowless cell proves how seriously under-resourced CYF is to cope with youth offending.

"While the Government has built a new youth facility in South Auckland and has another one on the way in Christchurch, why are there still not enough beds?" she asked. "This problem has existed since long before this Labour government came to power, and will exist long after, unless this Government takes the bull by the horns and actually provides enough beds to meet the realities of demand."

Ms Bradford said that more attention should also be given to the causes of youth offending, such as poverty and long-term unemployment. Some families trapped in inter-generational poverty tend to be totally alienated and it is often their children who end up as youth offenders.

"I am also convinced that many young people who end up committing major crimes actually have mental health problems," she said.

"The latest Blueprint Report published last week shows that, once again, mental health services for children and young people are falling even further behind in terms of meeting needs, proportionate to the rest of mental health resourcing.

"The Government has a good opportunity in the upcoming Budget to provide more resources to assist young people and families, from taking major steps to end child poverty and improving child and adolescent mental health resourcing through to simply providing more beds within the youth justice system."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news