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Sun and moon not to blame for youth violence

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

31 January 2008

Sun and moon not to blame for youth violence

National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power, says he is almost lost for words at Labour’s claim that the sun and the moon are to blame for the horrific incidents of youth violence this summer.

“There is only one reason for the rise in violent youth crime, and that’s Labour’s constant state of denial that there is a problem.

“It’s no coincidence that violent youth crime has climbed 47% since they were elected in 1999.

“Their record is pathetic.

“Prime Minister Helen Clark promised in her election pledge card in 1999 to ‘crack down … on youth crime’, and in 2002 to provide ‘more support for proven programmes to cut youth offending’, but instead youth violence has rocketed.

“Everyone is to blame except them.

“It has got so bad, that both Helen Clark and Police Minister Annette King have this week, in a desperate bid to counter John Key’s widely applauded initiatives to tackle youth crime, blamed the problem on a Budget as long ago as 1991.

“And if that wasn’t desperate enough, today Annette King is blaming the full moon and the hot sun for the murders and serious attacks in January.

“It’s time Labour took responsibility for creating the conditions over the past eight years that have seen violent youth crime increase.

“They have failed at every count:

- The Justice Ministry says their youth offending team system is a shambles of confusion.

- The Reducing Youth Offending Programme, run with CYF and Corrections, collapsed after offending rates had not reduced after three years.

- Labour’s Ministers Group on the Youth Offending Strategy did not meet for three years.

- We are still waiting for the national truancy register they promised in 1999 and 2002.

“National’s leader, John Key, this week outlined to New Zealanders how National will tread where Labour has failed to go.”


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