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Labour fails to tackle violent youth crime

Chester Borrows MP
National Party Police Spokesman

22 December 2006

Labour fails to tackle violent youth crime

Violent youth crime has rocketed by 27% under the Labour Government, says National’s Police spokesman, Chester Borrows.

He is commenting on the yearly report of criminal conviction and sentencing statistics, Conviction and Sentencing of Offenders in New Zealand: 1996 to 2005.

It shows that while non-traffic offending among youths aged 14 to 16 remained stable between 1999 and 2005, the number of apprehensions for violent crime increased by 27%, from 2,708 to 3,444. Grievous/serious assaults have increased by 38% to 1,324, aggravated robberies by 62% to 290, and robberies have doubled to 177.

“This is a very worrying trend, and shows that Labour has failed to meet its 1999 and 2002 pledge card promises to ‘crack down’ on youth crime.

“The increase in violent offences has gone up every year under Labour.

“My concern is that crime committed by young offenders is increasing in intensity, moving from petty crimes to offences where violence is increasingly an aggravating factor.”

The report also shows that between 1999 and 2005, the number of prosecutions has increased by 46% to 7,098 while the number of resolutions in family group conferences has dropped by 13% to 1,607 and Youth Aid by 17% to 14,398.

“More cases are being resolved through prosecution and less through alternative means such as Youth Aid, and that is a clear indication of the increasing seriousness or recidivism of youth offending.

“Labour is neglecting youth crime, and young offenders are paying a high price for that neglect.

“The Ministers Group on the Youth Offending Strategy did not meet for three years, CYF is still neglecting youth justice three years after the baseline review sought more resources, and there is still no national truancy register three years after Labour first promised it.

“That is a shameful record. It’s about time we saw action instead of talk.”

ENDS

Link to report: http://www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/reports/2006/
conviction-sentencing-1996-2005/statistics.html#7.1

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