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Collins Comments 20 June 2008

20 June 2008

New Zealanders are disgusted by the senseless killings of Navtej Singh, Mrs Yang Yin Ping and Joanne Wang.

I recently visited the widow and mother of Navtej Singh who was shot at point blank range when three men came into the Riverton Liquor Store in the Randwick Park district of Manurewa which will become part of the new Papakura electorate. Not far away, Mrs Yang was bashed to death by an intruder. Since then, bakery owner Joanne Wang has been killed when she stopped to drop off bakery supplies at Manukau City. In Karaka, we had the tragic death of Katie Powles.

At the time of writing this, several men had been arrested in connection with the shooting. One of them, charged with murder, is aged just 17 years and only just old enough to be dealt with in the adult court. None, so far, have been arrested for Mrs Yang and Joanne Wang’s deaths.

Violent youth crime, including grievous assaults and aggravated robbery, has increased.

Young criminals are graduating from petty crime to more serious crime with these unexploded time-bombs on a fast-track to Paremoremo maximum security prison. Rather than being the hope for our future, these young people represent our future fears.

It is important not to shy away from these problems. Unfortunately, some prefer to poke their noses into the lives of good parents while ignoring the ticking time bombs living on our doorsteps.

The time has well and timely come for the Politically correct brigade, that want to excuse criminal behaviour.

We have to clamp down on petty crime if we are ever going to stop young people going on to a life of crime. Someone doesn’t just wake up when they’re 21, get a gun and then shoot another person. Invariably, there have been years of petty crime as a child, years of increasingly violent crime, dropping out of school and into street gangs, years of drugs, years of youth justice initiatives and, finally, years of excuses. We’ve got to get young offenders to face up to their behaviours and its effects.

That’s where the “fresh-start” camps will help. It’s incredibly important to get these young offenders off the street, aware from their families, away from their street gangs and in an environment of discipline and respect. The liberal left will call them boot camps, but I believe it is a positive start in taking youth crime seriously.

I have joined with George Hawkins, MP for Manurewa, in calling a meeting of all South Auckland MPs next week, to discuss our response to the lack of government social services after 4pm. Unfortunately, troubled youth don't go home to bed at 4pm and it's simply not acceptable to leave the Police as the only government agency seen to be available and proactive.

As many people know, Calum Penrose, our Papakura Mayor and other councillors often walk around Papakura streets at night encouraging young people to go home and calling the Police when needed. It's quite clear to me that government social services agencies could do more in our area and that's why George and I have called the meeting.

We will be focused on getting commitments from government to be more active and responsive to the needs of the people of Papakura and of Manukau.


Judith Collins
MP for Clevedon


ENDS


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