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Youth Crime Bill Proceeds to Select Committee

Media Release

30 March 2006

Mark's Youth Crime Bill Proceeds to Select Committee

New Zealand First Law and Order spokesperson Ron Mark says he's delighted a second New Zealand First member's bill debated in Parliament this month will be proceeding to select committee.

Mr Mark's Young Offenders (Serious Crimes) Bill was debated in Parliament last night and subsequently passed to select committee stage, giving members of the public a chance to comment on the proposed tougher penalties for youth offenders who commit serious violent crimes.

"Parliament now has a very real chance to address the shortfalls of the current youth justice system, which is too lenient towards young offenders who have committed serious crimes," said Mr Mark.

"New Zealand First has long been calling for tougher penalties for serious youth offenders and an attack on entry-level crime to stop young offenders from developing into hardened criminals.

"I am pleased that a great majority of members in this House recognise the need to improve the youth justice system."

The principle behind Mr Mark's Bill is early intervention and deterrence. It will seek to reduce the age of criminal responsibility for serious offending by youths and amend the range of offences for which young offenders can be charged.

"Young offenders who commit serious crimes need to be made accountable for their actions. It is important that we deter them as quickly and effectively as possible," Mr Mark said.


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