The Mapp Report: National's Youth Crime Plan
NEW YEAR GREETINGS
This is the first Mapp Report for 2008. Denese and I trust you have had a good holiday break and are ready for a great year. The weather has been kind to us all and, of particular note, the Takapuna Boating Club hosted the first of four international sailing events being held off Takapuna Beach between January and the end of March. The World RSX Championships held earlier in January were a great success and a credit to the Takapuna Boating Club and North Shore City.
We are facing a very exciting year and, with John Key’s leadership, we in North Shore and the whole National team will be working hard during 2008.
NATIONAL’S PLAN TO TACKLE YOUTH CRIME
January this year has seen an unparalleled increase in crime, especially youth crime. North Shore has experienced the first real emergence of gang violence, with the recent brutal assaults in Milford and Takapuna. Four youths have been charged and have possible gang affiliations. The victims were in no doubt that the assaults were probably about gang prospects picking on victims to prove their prowess. Their arrogance was demonstrated by their subsequent conduct in the court.
North Shore Police
Both Jonathan Coleman (MP for Northcote) and I recently visited the Commander of the North Shore Police, Inspector Les Paterson. He said much of the violence is related to drugs. North Shore Police are currently busting one drug house per week.
Youth Crime Plan
John Key’s speech on Tuesday showed that National has a realistic plan to deal with youth crime. Under this plan, serious violent offenders could not expect parole which would have the effect of reducing the jail sentence that this type of offending inevitably attracts. The speech is available on National’s website, www.national.org.nz.
Early intervention best
Of course, it is better to intervene before the young offenders commit acts of extreme violence. John’s speech has a specific focus on this group. Most of them are already committing petty crimes, and unless early action is taken they will graduate to more serious crime. Most of them are from dysfunctional families, have poor schooling records, and often have drug and alcohol problems. That is why National proposes a full year programme for these offenders. This programme will deal with literacy problems and drug problems. These youths invariably need a structured programme that will stretch their horizons.
The Limited Service Volunteer programme run by the Army has been a real success for those able to join it. Incorporating this kind of programme into a full year programme is more likely to lead to permanent change in these young people’s lives.
National’s credible plan
National is determined to deal with the wave of youth crime occurring throughout our country. We have put together a credible and comprehensive plan that will make a meaningful impact on this wave of crime confronting the country.
Dr Wayne Mapp
For more information on National visit www.national.org.nz
To join the conversation with John Key visit www.johnkey.co.nz
Visit my website for more information at: www.waynemapp.co.nz