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This is why change is needed

22 March 2005

Hon. Tony Ryall MP National Law and Order spokesman

This is why change is needed - Ryall

National’s Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall, says measures to combat youth crime, announced by leader Don Brash yesterday, are vital to ensure young offenders are dealt with before their offending careers progress too far.

Mr Ryall is commenting on news today that a 13-year-old truant has escaped penalty for punching a boy so hard that he required hospitalisation. The boy will instead be dealt with by Police Youth Aid.

"This 13-year-old is reportedly an habitual truant, and it should be no surprise that he used criminal behaviour to while away the time.

"When a boy punches another person simply for looking at him there is obviously something terribly wrong with the systems surrounding him.

"Under National’s plan to lower the age of criminal responsibility, young people will be held criminally responsible from the age of 12. This will stop youths with records of violence escaping accountability because of their age.

"Labour promised to cut youth crime. Instead it is becoming more violent. National's plan offers a better way,” Mr Ryall says.


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