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Children and youth violence rockets under Labour

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

2 March 2008

Children and youth violence rockets under Labour

Labour continues to fail dismally in the fight again violent youth crime, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

"The public will be concerned about the latest crime statistics, which show that violence by youths is increasing alarmingly.

"The 2007 crime figures show that since Labour became the Government in 1999, violence by youth offenders aged 14-16 is up by 47%, from 3,233 offences to 4,766.

"That is very alarming.

"But perhaps more alarming is that in the space of just one year, violence by children aged 10-13 increased by massive 30% - from 926 offences to 1,201.

"An increase of that magnitude in children as young as 10 years old does not bode well for the future.

"If we do not catch these kids before they get on the conveyor belt of crime, we will pay for it later.

"In its 2002 pledge card, Labour promised 'more support for proven programmes to cut youth offending', but youth crime has continued to spiral.

"Labour has failed at every count:

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

* They failed to deliver on the Health and Education Assessments Programme for first-time offenders, with only 41% of the funded assessments completed.

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

"Add these figures to the 12% rise in overall violent crime in 2007 and the 45% rise since 1999, and you can see that Labour has failed to make any inroads at all into violent crime."

ENDS

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