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Grandstanding will not tackle youth offending

21 March 2005

Grandstanding will do nothing to tackle youth offending

National and New Zealand First’s like-minded proposals to tackle youth offending are simply absurd, Green Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos says.

“It’s just political grandstanding in the hope of grasping a few more votes,” said Nandor. “The proposal to lower the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years, for example, is pretty desperate stuff.

“Research indicates that lowering the age of criminal responsibility has no effect on youth offending anyway. It seems pretty obvious that a 12-year-old is not an adult and shouldn’t be treated as one.

“On top of that, New Zealand First’s obsession with military service seems particularly misguided in relation to criminal offending. The last thing we want to do with recidivist young offenders is put them in the army and teach them how to handle weapons.”

It was also ridiculous for National to suggest that parents should be punished for their children’s offending, Nandor said.

“One of the advantages of the present system of family group conferences is that, when run properly, they look at the context of offending, including the role of parents.

“Don Brash’s one-size-fits-all solution blames parents regardless of the circumstances. It’s a rigid approach that is going to cause more problems than it solves and punish the wrong people.”


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