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Crimes by Young People a Wake-Up Call for Government

Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor
Spokesperson for Social Policy/Welfare

June 25, 2014

Crimes by Young People a Wake-Up Call for Government

Young people growing up in poverty see bad behaviour as normal, particularly in South Auckland, says New Zealand First.

“South Auckland is overrepresented in statistics showing poverty, poor education, bad health and high rates of crime, violence and abuse,” says Spokesperson for Social Policy Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor.

“The Government should not be shocked by events that have unfolded in Māngere recently.

“They have done nothing to address those in hardship, which is why we continue to see violent crimes.

“In 2011, domestic violence cost more than half a billion dollars in South Auckland.

“Last year in New Zealand more than 70,000 adults were sentenced in court. Undoubtedly, many of these cases involved crimes that had an impact on children.

“New Zealand First believes that children and young people are given the best start in life when homes and families are stable.

“Given the Government’s poor record on addressing family hardship the very least it could do is support the New Zealand First member’s bill that aims to protect children in harmful environments.

“The Sentencing (Protection of Children from Criminal Offending) Amendment Bill will strengthen judges’ powers when sentencing offenders and hold criminals accountable for the harm they cause children.

“The Bill acknowledges the social reasons behind crime that affects children and young people. It seeks to eliminate the negative influences on young people to keep them from heading down the wrong track.

“The Government can prevent further incidents by supporting our Bill which will address violent behaviour developing amongst our young people,” says Mrs Lole-Taylor.

ENDS

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